Alexandria, Virginia

Wayne Plunkett of West Point, Mississippi, a professional truck driver for Ruan Transportation Management Systems of Des Moines, Iowa, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for rescuing a woman trapped in her vehicle following a crash.

On July 30, 2018, Plunkett had just dropped off a tanker at the Ruan depot in Columbus and was driving onto Highway 82. Just then, he noticed a pickup truck cross two lanes of traffic at a high rate of speed. The motorist crashed into a cable-wire guard rail, and Plunkett saw the vehicle begin to smoke heavily while on the major highway.

Without hesitation, he stopped to help. Acting swiftly, Plunkett grabbed his fire extinguisher to prevent the truck from burning as the motorist was trapped inside. Other motorists who stopped to help weren’t able to open the vehicle’s doors to extract the driver — a woman in her 70s — so Plunkett used the fire extinguisher to break the back window.

A short time later, emergency personnel arrived and took the woman to the hospital. Plunkett says he heard she had a medical issue of some kind.

Plunkett has logged more than three-million accident free miles. He’s been driving for Ruan for 20 years and says he is thankful for the ongoing safety training the company provides its drivers. “They focus 110 percent on safety and keep us up to date on safety procedures,” he says. “It’s something you hope you never have to use, but if you do, you’re prepared. I’m glad I could help that day.”

The Highway Angel program, managed by the Truckload Carriers Association, is an ongoing effort to help recognize driver professionalism and to elevate the public’s awareness of, and appreciation for, outstanding drivers in the trucking industry. The Highway Angel program is generously sponsored by EpicVue, the leading provider of premium in-cab satellite TV services packaged exclusively for the trucking industry.