The Truckload Carriers Association named its latest Highway Angels: Carl and Eva Marshall of Marshall Trucking, Payette, Idaho. The owner-operators are being recognized for helping an injured motorist on a bitterly cold morning.
The story begins on December 15, 2012, at about 5:45 a.m. Snow was blowing in the darkness along I-80 near Elk Mountain, Wyo. A patch of black ice caused a tractor hauling double trailers to jackknife, blocking the roadway. As the Marshalls drove westbound, they came to the top of a hill and saw the wreck beneath them. At that instant, Carl, who was driving, saw another tractor trailer collide with one of the trailers. Unfortunately for that driver, the impact was severe, shearing off the top of his cab and causing significant injuries to his back and face.
Carl saw the debris go flying from the impact and immediately brought his vehicle to a safe stop. Eva called 911 and then got on the CB radio to warn approaching traffic to slow down. Carl jumped out and approached various drivers involved in the accident to see if they were okay. When a highway patrol officer arrived, he and Carl began searching for the driver of the sheared tractor trailer, but found no one inside.
“Honestly, we didn’t think the driver had survived the impact,” said Carl. “Since we couldn’t see him, we assumed he was buried inside all the rubble.”
Just then, Carl spied a man on the side of the road, covered in blood and oil. He seemed disoriented and did not know where he was. Carl brought the man into his warm truck to keep him from freezing. Together, he and Eva placed compresses on the man’s wounds and kept him calm for about 45 minutes until medical personnel arrived and took over.
Carl and Eva have been driving for 14 years and have covered between 3 and 4 million miles throughout that time. Since their route always takes them through cold weather states, they have seen many vehicles roll over or slide off the road due to icy conditions. This time, Carl said, “It was really, really bad. Someone was looking out for [the man we helped] that day.”
Fortunately, the man survived his injuries and was so appreciative of the help he received that he nominated Carl and Eva for the Highway Angel award. TCA has presented the Marshalls with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch.
TCA's Highway Angel program is sponsored by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.
To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highway-angel.
The April Truck Tonnage Index rebounded from a dip in March, indicating a robust freight environment, according to the American Trucking Associations.