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Pitt Ohio’s Harry Cogswell Earns Highway Angel Wings
Professional truck driver’s amazing reflexes allow motorist to escape overturned car unharmed
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce that Harry Cogswell has been named its latest Highway Angel. Cogswell is a Battle Creek, Michigan, resident who drives for Pitt Ohio of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is being recognized for alert driving that probably saved a man’s life.
On April 4, 2012, at about 5:15 a.m., Cogswell was traveling along I-94 near Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was still very dark, and there were no lights along the roadway. As he came around a bend, he suddenly spied an overturned car lying directly in his path.
Cogswell quickly hit the brakes and swerved. The cab he was driving was equipped with a lane departure system that captured details about the incident. It was later determined that the car had not been visible until two seconds from impact.
“I saw a young man underneath the flipped car, attempting to crawl out from the wreck. He was halfway out, in a push-up position – looking right at me,” Cogswell remembers. “It was a close call… I barely missed hitting him. Then I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a bus coming at 65-70 mph! It smashed into that car dead center.”
After Cogswell pulled to a safe stop, he ran back through 200 yards of debris and bus parts, which were strewn across the roadway. All traffic had stopped. He and another motorist began searching for the young man. They examined the wrecked car and the debris. They even searched over the guardrail with flashlights. There was no sign of him anywhere.
“I didn’t think he’d made it,” said Cogswell, “and then he came walking up out of nowhere, saying, ‘Is that my car? I can’t believe I’m alive!’ He seemed disoriented, asking me if he had been alone in the car or if someone else had been there with him.”
Clearly, Cogswell’s alertness allowed the lucky driver to escape the wreck unharmed. Eventually, the authorities arrived and took over, but, as Cogwell states: “Someone was looking out for him that day, that’s for sure.”
For his quick reflexes on the road, Cogswell, a 25-year veteran truck driver, has been presented with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Pitt Ohio also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
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.