ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named truck driver David Garduno from Albuquerque, New Mexico, a TCA Highway Angel.
Garduno drives for ABF Freight out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
At around 2 a.m. on Jan. 9, Garduno’s heroic story took place, according to an account reported by TCA.
Driving down U.S. 64 in Kirtland, New Mexico, Garduno drove upon another tractor-trailer operator whose trailer was on fire.
“I sped up and informed the driver his truck was starting to catch fire — the trailer was catching fire — and to pull over,” Garduno said. “We both pulled over.”
Once the rigs were safely parked on the road’s shoulder, Garduno grabbed his fire extinguisher to try to put the fire out but was unsuccessful. Noticing that the fire was on molten metal, he informed the trucker to break apart the two trailers to avoid losing his entire truck to the flames.
“We split the two trailers apart,” Garduno said.
Garduno then noticed there was hazardous material in the truck’s load as the other trucker called 911 for help. He then got his traffic safety triangles out and placed them on the road behind the flaming truck to attempt to keep traffic at a safe distance.
He also moved his truck away from it as the fire department arrived.
“The fire department came, and it took about two hours to put out, even though it was 10 degrees or less outside,” Garduno said.
As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Garduno credited his military training for being able to stay calm. He also felt obliged to stop and help the other trucker during the incident.
“If I was in his position, I would want someone to help me,” he said. “You always gotta help each other out.”
Since the TCA Highway Angels program was established in August 1997, nearly 1,400 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for their extraordinary kindness, courtesy and courage displayed while on the job.
The TCA Highway Angels website can be accessed at https://www.truckload.org/highway-angel/.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.