Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized Gena Seibel, of Sioux City, Iowa, as a Highway Angel for her selfless actions that saved a family and their home from burning down.

Seibel, a driver for Cloverleaf Transport, was driving late at night on her way to pick up another trailer and drove by a house, which had an unusual bright light emanating from its front porch. She quickly turned around and drove towards it, where she noticed that the light was now twice the size and determined that the house was on fire. She parked her truck at a nearby gas station, dialed 911 and ran to the front door of the house, where she loudly knocked on the front door, to wake-up its occupants.

“I kept knocking on the door and saw a teenage girl run through the smoke, to a side exit, to see what was going on,” Seibel said. Flames began to rise up the porch. The girl told Seibel that her family lived in the house and she told the girl to “get everybody else out of the house”.

As Seibel kept her eye on the fire the girl ran into her house woke up the other members of her family and they went out a back door. A police car quickly appeared, but the policewomen did not have a fire extinguisher and Seibel ran back to her truck, picked up her fire extinguisher and used it put out the flames on the porch. Fortunately, there were no visible signs of the fire and a potential disaster had been averted.

The family “was sound asleep in the house at the time of fire,” Seibel said. As the only person in the area at the time of the fire, she prevented the fire from easily engulfing the house and potentially killing the family. Seibel’s quick thinking and actions kept structural damage to a minimum and ensured the family was safely evacuated. The family thanked Seibel for getting them out of the house and told her they had just bought the house. Later, she received a thank you note from the family.

“I wanted to help, because I would want help if I was in trouble,” Seibel explained. “I felt it was the right thing to do.”

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.