ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Truckload Carriers Association has recognized three drivers as “Highway Angels” for their efforts in assisting accident victims and helping prevent secondary accidents.
Jeffery Zeeb, a Canada-based driver for Bison Transport, was recognized for his efforts in assisting a motorist who hit a tree fallen in the roadway while directing other motorists away from the scene. In the early morning of August 18, 2019, Zeeb was returning to his home in Revelstoke, British Columbia. Approaching a blind curve, he saw a car that had crashed into a fallen tree blocking the roadway and virtually invisible in the rain and fog in an already dark area of highway. As the driver appeared to be uninjured, Zeeb recognized the dark site was primed for another accident. He placed flares, safety triangles, and a warning light to alert other motorists. He then directed traffic through the one passable lane until help arrived 45 minutes later.
Charles Jasewicz, a driver with H.O. Wolding, was recognized as a Highway Angel for assisting a motorist who had been ejected in an accident and was pinned under his vehicle. In November 2019, Jasewicz was driving east of Tucumcari, New Mexico, when he saw a vehicle just a short distance off the road. As abandoned vehicles are common along New Mexico highways, Jasewicz wasn’t initially alarmed; that is, until he saw legs moving underneath the vehicle. With the engine still running and the driver pinned with his neck in contact with the vehicle’s exhaust pipe, Jasewicz could see his neck being severely burned. Jasewicz knew he couldn’t lift the car, but a team of Old Dominion Freight Line drivers pulled over, and all were able to lift the car enough to wedge a spare tire beneath it and take pressure off the victim’s neck. Thirty minutes later, first responders arrived and pulled the victim free of the vehicle. Jasewicz later learned that the driver survived the accident.
Robert Digrazia, a driver with ABF Freight Systems, Inc., was recognized for his efforts to extinguish a vehicle fire and ensure the safety of a young driver. On September 2019, Digrazia was in route to Bradenton, Florida, to pick up a load of freight. As he approached the terminal, he saw a vehicle with flames coming from the driver’s side door. Pulling next the to the burning car, he saw young lady, likely not yet 20 years old, inside. Fearing she was in shock and unable to understand her car was on fire, Digrazia went into action. When he reached the driver’s side with his fire extingisher, the young driver had kicked open the door, and Digrazia put out the fire. He helped the driver call her father and kept her from danger along a roadway with no shoulder. Passing motorists paid little attention, blowing their horns in anger for Digrazia blocking the road. No one else stopped to help, but Digrazia was the only angel along the highway the young lady needed that evening.
In recognition of being named Highway Angels, Zeeb, Jasewicz, and Digrazia all received certificates, patches, lapel pins, and trucking decals. Likewise, the carriers received certificates recognizing their drivers as Highway Angels.
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