Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is honoring professional truck driver William “Bill” Sydenstricker as a Highway Angel for helping an elderly man involved in an accident.

On July 21, 2009, Sydenstricker was driving westbound on I-40 near mile marker 29 in Arkansas, when he saw the pickup truck in front of him hydroplane in the rain, lose control, veer off the road, hit a tree and spin around. He stopped to help and saw that the driver was an elderly man who had been seriously injured from the impact of his body colliding with the steering wheel. The man could not walk and needed assistance out of his vehicle.

Just then, the pickup truck caught on fire. Sydenstricker and another motorist helped the victim to a safe area, and then Sydenstricker raced back to the pickup to rescue the man’s cell phone and other important personal items before it became fully engulfed in flames.

“In my 48 years on the road, I’ve never been in a position to help anyone out before,” he said. “It feels good, saving a man’s life. There’s no way he would have gotten out of his pickup by himself.”

A driver for John Christner Trucking of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Sydenstricker received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts. John Christner Trucking also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

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.