DESPITE BEING HIT FROM BEHIND, PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER’S FIRST THOUGHT WAS TO ASSIST MOTORIST
When owner operator Tracy Fischer of Chester Hill, Pennsylvania, realized he had been hit, his only thought was for the safety of the women behind him. For his selflessness, he has earned the title of Highway Angel from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).
On July 8, 2013, at approx. 12:40 p.m., Fischer, who is leased to Barnhart Transportation, LLC, of North East, Pennsylvania, was on I-70 westbound in Brookville, Ohio. He had come to a stop due to construction, and two women in a Jeep came up behind him and stopped as well. Unfortunately, the driver of the tractor trailer behind the women was going too fast and apparently didn’t realize that traffic had stopped. He slammed into them at full speed, pushing them into the back of Fischer’s trailer.
As soon as he realized what had happened, Fischer gave no thought to the damage to his own vehicle. Instead, he ran to the women and found that one was unconscious and the other was crying and obviously shaken. The scene was chaotic, with steam and smoke everywhere, the severely crunched car, and the strong odor of gasoline. He ran back to his truck, put on leather gloves, and, not knowing exactly what would need to be done, grabbed a fire extinguisher and winch bar. When he saw that fire was not an issue, he focused on trying to pry the women out. However, they were trapped by the crumpled metal, and he could not free them. Fischer did speak with the coherent woman and got her a roll of paper towels to dry her tears until emergency personnel arrived and took over. Throughout it all, no one stopped to help, and the driver who caused the accident never left his cab.
“I’m just a normal person, following in my Daddy’s footsteps as a trucker,” said Fischer when asked about the incident. “I would help anyone if they needed it, no matter what, when, or where.”
TCA has presented Fischer with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. The organization also gave Barnhart Transportation, LLC, a certificate acknowledging that it has a Highway Angel in its midst.
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.