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TCA Highway Angels | January/February 2024

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TCA Highway Angels | January/February 2024

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has recognized professional truck drivers Christopher Blount, John Hamilton, Tony Doughty, David Norman, Daniel Dolf, Daniel Wells, and Gannon Sanders as TCA Highway Angels because of their acts of heroism while on the road.

In recognition of these drivers’ willingness to help fellow drivers and motorists, TCA has presented each Highway Angel with a certificate, a lapel pin, patches, and truck decals. Their employers have also received a certificate highlighting their driver as a recipient.

Since the program began in 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels because of the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. TCA extends special thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsor, DriverFacts. To nominate a driver or read more about these and other Highway Angel award recipients, visit highwayangel.org.

 

Christopher Blount
Christopher Blount

Christopher Blount

Melton Truck Lines — Tulsa, Oklahoma

Christopher Blount of Sulphur, Louisiana, has been named a TCA Highway Angel for stopping to extinguish a car fire on the highway. Blount drives for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On October 2, 2023, Blount was driving along Interstate 10 on the outskirts of Houston, when he spotted a burning car on the side of the road. The driver, a man, was talking on his cellphone and watching in dismay. Other vehicles were passing by the spectacle without stopping, and no emergency responders had arrived.

“I wanted to stop and help him out and try to put out the fire, because the fire looked like it was starting to get worse,” Blount said. “The fire was starting to go from gray smoke to black smoke, and I was concerned about it getting to the gas tank.”

Blount immediately pulled over and grabbed his fire extinguisher. Once he confirmed no one was in the burning car or in need of medical assistance, Blount began spraying the car engine. He was able to extinguish most of the fire and prevent it from spreading even further.

“The driver was very thankful,” Blount said. “As soon as I actually got the fire out, the fire trucks got there.”

 

John Hamilton
John Hamilton

John Hamilton

Melton Truck Lines — Tulsa, Oklahoma

Driver John Hamilton of Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been named a TCA Highway Angel for assisting rescue personnel at the scene of an accident.

On August 25, 2023, around 3:30 p.m., Hamilton was driving home along US 70 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when he came upon a two-vehicle accident. He says the accident likely occurred just a minute or so before he arrived on the scene.

He immediately maneuvered his truck to redirect traffic and got out to render aid if needed. He had previously been trained in combat life-saving procedures in the Army, and learned to administer first aid as a corrections officer.

“I hopped out to provide any assistance I could. I tried to divert traffic into a single lane,” he said.

Once he determined there were only minor injuries, Hamilton proceeded to set out his traffic triangles and began directing traffic until first responders could arrive. Once crews arrived, he continued to assist the fire department and state police by directing traffic as needed until the scene was clear. Hamilton believes his military and first aid training are contributing factors as to why he stopped to try to help.

“We don’t just ignore situations; we go in when we need to,” he said. “You’ve got to help.”

Hamilton drives for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

Tony & Alison Doughty
Tony & Alison Doughty

Tony Doughty

Woody Bogler Trucking — Gerald, Missouri

Truck driver Tony Doughty of Greenville, Texas, has been honored as a TCA Highway Angel for his heroism in two separate events.

At about 11 a.m. on November 8, 2023, Doughty was driving on Interstate 280 near Toledo, Ohio, when he witnessed a single-vehicle accident: A red Lincoln SUV hit a concrete barrier and spun 360 degrees onto the I-280 southbound entrance ramp.

“It happened right in front of me,” Doughty said. “He lost control on that curve and was in the middle of the highway, totally disabled.”

Doughty, who is a volunteer firefighter, pulled over and blocked the left lane to prevent any more accidents. Meanwhile, his wife, Alison, dialed 911 to alert fire and police personnel.

Doughty helped get the driver, whose injuries were not life-threatening, out of the vehicle. Once the Toledo Fire Department arrived, Doughty continued to block traffic to assist the emergency personnel until the accident scene was cleared.

“Me being a volunteer firefighter — if I can stop to render aid, I will stop to render aid. It was just in my nature to stop and see if he was OK,” Doughty said about the crash victim.

Less than a week later, on November 12, Doughty was traveling westbound on Interstate 12 near Albany, Louisiana, when traffic ahead slowed. Doughty spotted a grass fire on the side of the highway that was getting dangerously close to some homes. Doughty says a police officer was on the scene, but had no way to fight the fire, which spread between a half-acre and an acre.

“I told the cop, ‘I’m a volunteer firefighter; I know how to handle a grass fire,’” Doughty said. “When I showed up, the fire was raging, so I just jumped out and went to work. I grabbed my fire extinguisher, and I grabbed my leaf blower, and had the fire 95% put out before the fire department showed up.”

Asked why he made such a magnanimous effort, Doughty humbly replied, “I could’ve just drove on, but I can’t do that — that’s not me. I was just doing what I’m trained to do.”

Doughty drives for Woody Bogler Trucking out of Gerald, Missouri.

 

Daniel Dolf
Daniel Dolf
David Norman
David Norman

David Norman and Daniel Doff

Melton Truck Lines — Tulsa, Oklahoma

On September 7, 2023, professional driver David Norman of Wichita Falls, Texas, and his trainee, Daniel Dolf of Carrollton, Georgia, were driving on Interstate 45 outside of Dallas when the two noticed smoke ahead.

As they approached, they discovered that a female driver had lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the center median.

Immediately, Norman, who formerly served as a registered first responder and volunteer firefighter, grabbed the truck’s fire extinguisher and got out to contain the fire.

“I grabbed the fire extinguisher to keep the fire from spreading — I was putting the fire out around the car,” Norman said, adding that Dolf parked the truck and ran to help. He added that his trainee, Dolf, parked the truck and came running over to help.

“When he (Dolf) got back over there, he hopped in the back of the fire truck when it showed up, and he helped too,” Norman shared.

Luckily, no one was injured in the unfortunate incident, and Norman and Dolf were able to keep the fire from spreading. Three fire companies arrived at the scene and made sure the fire was completely out.

“Old habits kick back in. Twenty years ago, I was a registered first responder here in Texas,” Norman said, explaining why he went to the lengths he did.

Because of their actions, Norman and Dolf, who drive for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, are recognized as TCA Highway Angels.

 

Daniel Wells
Daniel Wells

Daniel Wells

Melton Truck Lines — Tulsa, Oklahoma

Daniel Wells of Saginaw, Michigan earned the title of TCA Highway Angel after stopping to help a fellow truck driver following a horrific crash. At about 10:30 a.m. on October 11, 2023, Wells was traveling east on Interstate 44 near Springfield, Missouri. As he crested a hill, he watched as another semi-truck crashed and rolled ahead of him.

“I saw debris flying through the air,” Wells said. “I pulled my truck over to the shoulder of the road.”

Immediately Wells grabbed his fire extinguisher, gloves, and winch bar and ran to the accident to see how he could help. As he ran, he called 911 and explained the situation. Luckily, Wells had previous emergency response training, which helped him jump into action.

“His truck was completely totaled,” Wells recalled, adding, “the cab was ripped off the frame.”

The driver was still in the vehicle, but Wells didn’t want to move him in because of the risk of causing additional injuries. Instead, he kept the driver calm and made sure he wasn’t in shock. Emergency medical responders soon arrived, and Wells helped load the injured driver onto a stretcher so they could render aid.

When the fire department arrived at the scene, Wells stepped aside and let the professionals take over.

“I’ve had training. I didn’t even think about it — my training just kicked in,” Wells said. “Besides, if I were ever in that position, I would hope somebody would do that for me.”

Wells drives for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

Gannon Sanders
Gannon Sanders

Gannon Sanders

Lew Thompson & Son/Covenant Logistics — Huntsville, Arkansas

Gannon Sanders, a trucker from Shelbyville, Tennessee, gained his TCA Highway Angel wings after saving the life of a farm employee.

On October 18, 2023, at about 3 p.m., Sanders was at a farm in Shelbyville, Tennessee, picking up a load of live chickens for delivery. While the farm’s catch crew — team members who round up live fowl to be loaded into cages — was working, one of the team members experienced a medical emergency and stopped breathing.

Sanders said there were multiple people on the farm who were nearby when the incident occurred, but that almost everyone froze in fear when their teammate hit the ground, not breathing.

“I jumped right in and started doing what I had to do. He was unresponsive, and he turned blue and cold,” he said. “I ran over there and was on the phone with 911. (They) walked me through CPR, which I did on him for seven to eight minutes until the paramedics arrived on the scene.”

Sanders’ actions kept the man alive. At first the man had no pulse, but eventually, Sanders said, he detected a weak pulse and shallow breathing.

“It was very scary. I ain’t gonna sit here and tell you it was a walk in the park, because it wasn’t,” Sanders said.

“In that situation, I was scared — I was fearing for his life,” he continued.

The man has since recovered, and he thanked Sanders for what he did to save his life that day.

“It’s nothing on my end. It’s the glory of God that gave me the strength to do that,” Sanders said.

Sanders drives for Lew Thompson & Son – A Covenant Logistics Company, out of Huntsville, Arkansas.

Truckload Carriers Association 2

The Truckload Authority News Staff, comprised of award winning journalists and graphic artists, produces content for Truckload Authority, working in cooperation with the Truckload Carriers Association staff. Truckload Authority aims to keep TCA members abreast on the latest trends in the trucking industry as well as articles that feature TCA member executives and drivers. The Truckload Authority staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Avatar for Truckload Authority Staff
The Truckload Authority News Staff, comprised of award winning journalists and graphic artists, produces content for Truckload Authority, working in cooperation with the Truckload Carriers Association staff. Truckload Authority aims to keep TCA members abreast on the latest trends in the trucking industry as well as articles that feature TCA member executives and drivers. The Truckload Authority staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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