HIGHWAY ANGEL SAVES CHILD FROM BEING STRUCK ON HIGHWAY, ASSISTS FAMILY IN MANGLED VEHICLE
Fernandez Garner of Humble, Texas, a professional truck driver for Duprè Logistics, LLC of Lafeyette, Louisiana, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for not only shielding a child thrown from a vehicle onto the highway, but also assisting the other family members in a crashed vehicle.
On June 17, 2017, Garner was traveling on I-45N near Buffalo, Texas, near mile marker 171 on his way to Dallas. As he was following behind an SUV, a tanker suddenly cut between the two. Garner quickly pumped his brakes to keep his distance. The tanker then slammed on his brakes; Garner noticed the SUV was now swerving back and forth then flipped several times, landing on its wheels and sliding down a hill into a tree. Garner didn’t want to risk slamming into the tanker by speeding up but also was monitoring his mirrors and saw more traffic coming up from behind. He decided to try and go around the tanker when he realized one of the children had been thrown from the SUV, landing in the middle of the freeway along with luggage. Reacting quickly, Garner slowed to a stop in front of the little girl, shielding her from approaching vehicles. An approaching motorist stopped and jumped out to grab the child allowing Garner to run to the SUV.
He noticed there were two children in the car and two adults in the driver and passenger seat. First, Garner checked the children for any scratches or injuries and it appeared they were miraculously fine. Suddenly another motorist at the top of the hill yelled for the professional truck driver to send the kids up to her so he could focus on the injured adults.
In the passenger’s seat was the children’s’ mother who yelled that her leg was broken and she could not get out of the vehicle. He noticed the man in the driver’s seat, who appeared to be dead, as the roof of the SUV had been pressed down on his head as it flipped so many times. Just then Garner heard an infant in the back seat that started to cry. The mother then also started to cry out in pain. The professional truck driver tried to calm the woman, insisting that she not look at her husband. Garner then checked the infant again, which had blood on her, but after not finding any injuries or cuts he concluded it was the father’s blood. Garner quickly removed the baby from the car seat, reuniting the mother and child.
Suddenly, the husband miraculously started moving and was able to climb out of the mangled SUV. He was scared, confused and started yelling for his family. Garner tried to calm the man, asking him questions to ensure he was coherent; he reassured him everything was OK even the daughter who did not have any injuries despite being thrown from the wreckage. The paramedics then arrived on scene to assist the family.
A supervisor from Garner’s company was coincidentally traveling that same road; he stopped and was able to watch Mr. Garner’s rescue efforts from the top of the hill.
“I don’t feel like a hero,” says the professional truck driver, “That’s just something I do and am trained to do.”
For his willingness to assist, TCA has presented Garner with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Duprè Logistics, LLC also received a certificate acknowledging Fernandez Garner as a Highway Angel.