Alexandria, Virginia

Brian Snell of Merrimack, New Hampshire, a professional truck driver for Pottle’s Transportation of Hermon, Maine, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for rescuing a trapped motorist from a crushed vehicle moments before the car caught ablaze and saving a dog who was trapped in second vehicle after owner succumbed to injuries.

On June 8, 2018, Snell was driving along 495 in Westward, Massachusetts when he encountered a woman heading the wrong way on the freeway.  Just as he realized what was happening, the woman in the oncoming car spun out directly in front of Snell’s truck. The professional truck driver quickly jumped to action, coming to a stop to block the road and protect the woman’s car because she did not have her lights on. He then went over and starting trying to resuscitate the woman who he noticed was unconscious.

“I was a paramedic for such a long time that it was second nature for me to start to work on her,” recalled Snell.

Just then, he felt that something wasn’t right. He noticed that her engine was on fire! Acting swiftly, he grabbed his fire extinguisher and began extinguishing the flames. He then heard someone yelling that they couldn’t get in to the vehicle, and that’s when Snell realized that the female motorist had hit another car head on before coming to a halt.

Snell ran over and checked the man’s pulse and vitals in the other vehicle, and sadly realized the man has succumbed to his injuries. “The car had crushed him,” recalled Snell. “So as hard as it was to leave his side, I ran back to the woman to continue working on her.”

For what felt like hours later, an ambulance and emergency personnel arrived. He helped remove the doors to the woman’s crushed car as she drifted into consciousness. The crew rushed her to the hospital as Snell went back to the deceased man’s car to discover there was a dog inside. “We got the dog to a vet and they were able to save and return the dog to the man’s family, which they were very happy about,” said Snell. He stayed at the accident scene to help extract the man from his vehicle and to load the crushed cars on a tow truck.

Snell later learned that the female motorist was heavily intoxicated and was charged with vehicular homicide. “It’s devastating to know she killed an innocent man,” he shared with TCA. “But I also know she will unfortunately now have to pay for that the rest of her life.”

This isn’t the first time Snell has completed a heroic deed. Upon exiting the Marine Corps in 1992, he worked for many years as a paramedic and was a rescue worker on September 11, 2001 at Ground Zero. Unfortunately he lost a lung during those recoveries and could no longer serve in law enforcement. As he still had the urge to help others, Snell started a volunteer fire department as well as started his career in the trucking industry.

“I’m like a magnet to this kind of thing. I’ve probably stopped at eight different accidents since I helped save this woman last Summer, he shared. “It’s either a blessing or a curse that I’m around often for this kind of thing. Unfortunately the world is getting crazier out here, so I’m always alert and help when I’m needed. Never thought I needed an award or recognition for that,” said Brian, graciously.

For his willingness to assist a fellow citizen, TCA has presented Snell with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Pottle’s Transportation also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.