Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Travis Smallwood, from Penfield, New York Highway Angelfor rushing to the aid of a driver whose truck was resting on railroad tracks following a collision. 

Smallwood was near Coal City, Illinois one morning in January with a load bound for Georgia. It was a beautiful clear, sunny day, he shared. “As I went down a hill, I looked straight up and saw dust flying overhead,” he saidI knew something had happened up ahead. I had a propane tanker behind me, so I got on the CB and advised that he slow down. I slowed to about 30 mph.” As he approached the sceneSmallwood noticed a car on the right and someone lying on the ground. Off to the left, the cab of a grain hauler was in the ditch and the trailer was resting on railroad tracks. “The way the truck was positioned, he was probably northbound and the car was coming out of a side road. I think the truck maneuvered to try to avoid the car.” 

Smallwood set his four-ways and brakes, jumped out, and ran over to check on the driver of the car. “He said he was hurting,” said Smallwood. He ran back to his truck and grabbed a new fleece blanket from the sleeper. “I covered him up and told him not to moveI needed to go check on the other driver. The cab of the truck was mangled, just a wreck,” he recalled. “Diesel fuel was leaking from the fuel tank.” He rapped on the window of the truck but couldn’t get a response from the driver. He carefully opened the door and saw the driver had a cut to the forehead and was bleeding badly. Smallwood helped him out of truck. By this time there was a line of cars behind the propane tanker. “There were nurses who stopped to help,” he said. They attended to the driver of the car as Smallwood walked the truck driver a safe distance away. Later, he learned a train was coming down the tracks, but had been stopped 20 minutes away.  

For his willingness to assist a fellow driver, TCA has presented Smallwood with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, more than 1,250 drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program.