Daniel Sieczkarski, a driver for Melton Truck Lines was named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for saving another driver whose tractor trailer was struck in rising floodwater.
On April 18, 2016, Sieczkarski was driving on Interstate 10 near Brookshire, Texas, when he heard a broadcast flood alert for the area. Shortly after the alert, he noticed a tractor trailer parked sideways in floodwater near a bridge with the driver behind the wheel.
Suspecting that something wasn’t right, he moved his truck to a safe place and ran back to check on the driver. Arriving on the scene he realized how close the flood water was rising around the truck.
“I had never seen flooding before so I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got closer,” said Sieczkarski.
Sieczkarski borrowed a life vest and some tubing from a motorist that had also stopped and, tying the tubing to the vest, sent the vest toward the driver for him to use. After trying to talk the driver into leaving his truck and belongings, Sieczkarski knew he had to take matters into his own hands.
Putting on the life vest, he swam to the stranded driver’s truck. When he opened the cab door, the driver realized how quickly the water was rising and was finally convinced to leave his truck and agreed to swim to safety.
With help from motorists holding the tubing, they managed to get to dry land safely and unharmed despite submerging in the fast rising water several times. An hour after the rescue, Sieczkarski heard over the radio that the stranded truck was fully submerged under the water.
For his willingness to help, the TCA presented Sieczkarski with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals designating him as a Highway Angel. Melton Truck Lines also received a certificate acknowledging its driver’s act.
When asked about what made him risk his own life for a stranger Sieczkarski said, “I lost my wife three years ago and I didn’t know if that driver had a wife and family, but if he did, I didn’t want his family to go through what I had gone through.”