Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized John Barber of Des Moines, Iowa, as a Highway Angel for his selfless actions, which saved the life of a SUV driver.

Barber, a driver for Schneider National Carriers, Inc., was driving northbound on I-530 near Little Rock, Arkansas, when a black SUV in the left lane swerved in front of him, drove over the shoulder and crashed into an embankment of trees. He carefully parked his truck on the shoulder and ran towards the SUV.

“As I was running, I saw that the SUV had flipped over onto its roof and the top of the trees had been sheered off by the SUV. When I arrived at the scene of the accident, the driver was halfway out of her SUV, had incurred cuts all over her legs from the glass and was in shock. With the smell of fuel in the air, I had to get her out of the SUV quickly and escort her to a safe distance away from the accident,” Barber said. Fortunately, for the driver, Barber kept her calm and prevented her from wondering onto the on-coming highway traffic.

As he kept her calm, another driver parked his car on the shoulder and called 911. Then Barber waved down a county sheriff who relayed the accident information to his dispatcher. An ambulance arrived on the scene and the driver was taken to a nearby hospital for the treatment of her injuries. The driver “had been reaching down to pick up her cell phone, lost control of the SUV and crashed into the embankment of trees,” Barber said. As the first person to arrive at the scene of the accident, he helped the driver out of the SUV and saved her life.

“It is no big deal that I helped the driver. My father was a truck driver for 30 years and he would be rolling over in his grave, if he knew I was being recognized as a Highway Angel,” said Barber.

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angel program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and emails from people across the country nominating truck drivers for the program.

“The kindness and generosity of these professional truck drivers, who risk everything to save the life of a driver or passenger on our roads, continues to amaze us”, said Nancy O’Liddy, director of public relations and marketing for TCA. “TCA is proud and delighted to provide this program, to highlight the positive impact these drivers have on our roads.”

Barber received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts, and his employer, Schneider National Carriers, Inc., also received a certificate for acknowledging a Highway Angel in their midst. Barber has been driving for Schneider National Carriers, Inc. for two years and as son of a truck driver, he always knew he would be a truck driver.

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.