Alexandria, Virginia

Daniel Sieczkarski, of Rochester, New York, a professional driver for Melton Truck Lines, Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). Daniel is being recognized for saving another driver whose tractor trailer was stuck in rising floodwater.

On April 18, 2016, Sieczkarski was driving on I-10 near Brookshire, TX just outside of Houston, when he heard the weather channel warning broadcast alert of flooding in the area. Shortly after he noticed a tractor trailer parked sideways in floodwater near the bridge with the driver behind the wheel. Immediately Sieczkarski knew something wasn’t right.  He quickly moved his truck to a safe place and ran back to check on the driver. “I had never seen flooding before so I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got closer,” said Sieczkarski.  As he gazed upon the scene, he realized how close the floodwater was rising around the driver and his truck.

Sieczkarski borrowed a life vest and some tubing from a motorist that had also stopped. Together they tied the tubing to the vest and sent it down for the driver to use himself.  After 15 minutes of talking with the driver, who was hesitant to leave his tractor trailer and all his belongings, Sieczkarski knew he had to take matters into his own hands.  Sieczkarski put the life vest on himself and swam to the stranded driver’s truck.  When he opened the cab door, the driver could see how quickly the water was rising and was convinced to leave his truck and together they began swimming to safety. The motorists lent support by keeping ahold of the tubing to help in the rescue. Together they were submerged in the fast rising water several times but ended up getting to dryer land safely and unharmed.

An hour after Sieczkarski decided to put another man’s life before his own, he heard over the radio that the stranded tractor trailer was fully submerged under the water.  If he had not acted so quickly the outcome could have been very different. Sieczkarski and the other driver talk on a regular basis; the rescued driver and his wife are both thankful that Sieczkarski made the quick decision to help that day.

Watch the incredible video of Sieczkarski and the rescued driver, as well as the crew on the embankment which helped to pull them to safety.

Sieczkarski has been driving for 14 years and enjoys his job because he’s able to drive across the beautiful country. When asked about what made him risk his own life for a stranger he 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.”

For his willingness to help, TCA has presented Sieczkarski with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Melton Truck Lines, Inc. also received a certificate acknowledging Sieczkarski as a Highway Angel.

TCA’s Highway Angel program is sponsored by EpicVue. Both organizations are honored to recognize deserving professional truck drivers as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job.