Trucker Named Highway Angel for Rescuing Fellow Trucker Having a Heart Attack
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named truck driver Virgil Hunter, from Tyrone, PA, a Highway Angel for helping rescue a fellow trucker when he was having a heart attack. Hunter drives for Ward Transport out of Altoona, PA.
It’s an incredible story: On Tuesday May 9, 2023, Ward Trucking driver Dan Brennan was driving when he suddenly realized he wasn’t feeling well. Brennan had noticed that his arm hurt earlier in the day but assumed he had pulled a muscle. It wasn’t until later in the day that his arm suddenly went numb while driving. Brennan had pulled over in a grocery store parking lot and began having chest pains. He attempted to call a nearby driver when he realized he didn’t have any cell phone reception.
Virgil Hunter, also a Ward Trucking driver, noticed Brennan’s truck pulled over and quickly stopped to check on the driver.
“He was sitting on the side of the road,” Hunter said. “I saw his left arm out the window waving me over, so I pulled in front of him and walked back. He asked me where my phone was — I said it was in the truck. He said, “I need you to call 911; I think I’m having a heart attack.”
It turned out the driver was having a heart attack. Hunter immediately called 911 and stayed with Brennan until the ambulance took him to the hospital. He contacted Brennan’s family to let them know of the situation and keep them up to date with everything that was happening. Hunter was also quick to contact the terminal location and inform them of the situation taking place. Throughout the entire process, Hunter stayed in contact with Brennan’s wife to keep her informed. Hunter’s quick actions to stop and check on Brennan quite possibly saved his life.
“He was calm — he knew all the symptoms,” Hunter said. “I just showed up at the right time — the good Lord put me in his presence.”
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage displayed while on the job. Thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsor, DriverFacts, TCA is able to showcase outstanding drivers like Mr. Hunter.
The Highway Angels website can be accessed at https://www.truckload.org/highway-angel/.