Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named Nancie Spranger, a professional truck driver for John Veriha Trucking, Inc., of Marinette, Wisconsin, as its latest Highway Angel.

On October 3, 2010, at about 7:30 p.m., Spranger had just picked up a load and was driving southbound on Highway 41 between Little Chute and Appleton, Wisconsin, when she saw many drivers applying their brakes. A shirtless man was weaving in and out of the path of vehicles on the highway.

When the man darted in front of Spranger’s truck, she pulled over and called the police. There were two other passengers in the man’s car; one of them told Spranger that the man had been drinking and had just had a fight with his wife. Apparently, he had decided to commit suicide by running in front of vehicles.

Fortunately, the braking cars slowed traffic down, decreasing the man’s chances of being seriously injured or even killed. The police finally arrived and took the man into custody. During the entire incident — which lasted 15 minutes or more — not a single person stopped to help besides Spranger.

“You see it all,” said the 21-year veteran driver, referring to the many unique experiences she has had over the years. “You know something is wrong when everyone is braking.”

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.