Truck driver William Hunt is being recognized as a Highway Angel for helping to save the life of a fellow trucker who was trapped in his overturned truck.

Hunt was driving along Route 59 in Warren, Pa., when he came across a tanker truck overturned onto its side with the driver trapped in the cab. The truck had struck a large rock and a guard rail and the asphalt in its tank was leaking out.

Bystanders at the scene urged Hunt not to go near the wreck for fear of an explosion but by reading the placards on the tank, he was able to determine that an explosion was unlikely.

The driver was pinned inside of the truck by the crushed roof. Hunt could only see the man’s left hand sticking out of the truck and went to check his pulse and found the truck driver conscious and asking for help. Hunt was unable to free the man from the truck but seeing the asphalt leaking onto the ground by the cab he grabbed his shovel and dug small trenches in the dirt to keep the hot material from getting near the trapped driver.

“I tried and tried but I just couldn’t get him out,” said Hunt. “I kept assuring him that help was coming. There were maybe 8,000 gallons of asphalt leaking. It was incredibly hot and all around us.”

Hunt stayed with the man until emergency personnel arrived on the scene. It took crews 2.5 hours to cut him free.

“My company has taught us don’t get excited – fall back on your training and do what needs to be done,” said Hunt.

Hunt drives for Crossett Inc., and lives in Oil City, Pa. He has been a driver for more than 40 years. For his actions Hunt was awarded a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decal from the Highway Angel program.

For more information on the Highway Angel program click here.