Highway Angel, Jon Wilbur: Photo via TCA.

Highway Angel, Jon Wilbur: Photo via TCA.

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Jon Wilbur a Highway Angel for helping passengers on a burning bus in June.

Wilbur was traveling eastbound on the New York State Thruway near Portland, N.Y., when he saw a large a bus on the side of the road that had blown a tire and caught on fire. Wilbur stopped his truck in front of the bus, grabbed his fire extinguisher and began putting out the fire.

When his extinguisher ran out he got another one from two bystanders and continued spraying the flames. When the fire intensified, he took charge of the situation and asked passengers of the bus to move to a safe distance while he fought the blaze.  

Unfortunately the bus's engine, tires and cargo hold had already caught on fire and Wilbur was unable to put it out. The New York Highway Department eventually arrived and took over, but the TCA says that many believed his selfless actions and leadership skills are the reasons that no one was hurt.

“I saw young people, black smoke pouring out of the vehicle, and no one was stopping. I didn’t know if there were disabled people on that bus or infants or what,” said Wilbur.

The TCA presented him with a certificate, patch and lapel pin and his employer, Pottle’s Transportation also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

The Highway Angel program was started in 1997 and since then hundreds of drivers have been recognized for unusual acts of kindness, courtesy and courage they have shown others while on the job.

For more information on the Highway Angel program click here.