The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is honoring professional truck driver Richard Koss as a Highway Angel for helping a family at the scene of an accident.
On June 30, 2009, Koss was driving north from Wausaukee, Wis., to Iron Mountain, Mich., when he witnessed a vehicle veer to the shoulder of the highway, overcorrect, and then flip over, landing in the middle of the road. As he called 911, he brought his truck to a stop and went to check on the passengers.
Among the glass, which was everywhere, he found two adults wandering around on the road. They had crawled out of the shattered windows and, although apparently uninjured, seemed dazed and confused. He also discovered that a baby girl was still inside the car, dangling upside down from her car seat. He tried to free the baby, but could not.
“911 told me not to pull the baby out, but just then I noticed smoke coming from the car,” said Koss. “I was afraid it might catch on fire. I couldn’t just leave her there.”
So Koss ran back to his truck and got a fire extinguisher and a multi-purpose tool with a knife on it. He cut the baby free from the car.
Fortunately, he never had to use the fire extinguisher because just then the fire fizzled out and the police arrived to take over. Koss, who was covered with tiny shards of glass, returned to his truck and continued on his route as scheduled.
“You know the U.S. mail can never be late,” he joked, referring to the load he was carrying that day.
A driver for L.R. Vincent Truck & Service, Inc., of Kingsford, Mich., Koss received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts. L.R. Vincent Truck & Service also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers 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.