Alexandria, Virginia

Daniel Barnett of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, a professional truck driver for Barber Trucking, Inc. of Brookville, Pennsylvania, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for his willingness to stop at the scene of an accident and render aid until emergency services arrived.

On Tuesday, July 24, Barnett had reloaded his flatbed and was on his way to Buffalo, New York. As he turned onto Highway 19 in West Virginia, the driver saw brake lights up ahead. Coming around a bend in the road, Barnett noticed a two-vehicle accident just ahead in an intersection. As he approached, other motorists were frantic, struggling to open the driver’s door of a small minivan. Nearing the scene, Barnett noticed smoke rolling out from underneath the hood. Acting swiftly, the professional truck driver safely stopped, positioning his truck to divert traffic away from the accident scene.

Barnett quickly pulled tools from his truck and went around to the passenger side of the inoperable minivan and broke the window. Without a moment to spare, he then gave someone his pocketknife to cut the driver’s seat belt so that one of the bystanders, a nurse, could administer aid. Barnett quickly ran back to his truck for a fire extinguisher—he wanted to ensure nothing caught fire as they waited for emergency vehicles to arrive. Fortunately, it turned out to be steam coming out from under the hood.

Thinking back on that day, Barnett says he doesn’t believe he did anything particularly heroic. “I would hope someone would do it if my wife or daughter were in that situation and not just drive by thinking someone else will do something,” he shared.

For his willingness to assist his fellow driver, TCA has presented Barnett with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Barber Trucking, Inc. also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.