Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association has named William Church, from DeLand, Florida, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a family after their vehicle caught fire.

Church was driving on Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs, Iowa one evening in late July when he saw flames coming from underneath the car in front of him. Without a moment to spare, he pulled over to the shoulder when the driver did and jumped out of his cab to assist. “The flames were coming from underneath the engine,” Church shared with TCA. He quickly helped the two adults pull two small children, a toddler and a four- or five-year-old girl, out of the vehicle. As Church ran to get his fire extinguisher, he told the adults to get the children as far away from the vehicle as possible. Church was able to extinguish the fire. He’s thankful no one was injured.

“The kids were crying, so I let them see inside the passenger side of my truck,” he shared. “I gave them each a cookie and let them honk the horn.” Although the driver and passenger were shaken, they thanked him for stopping to help. First responders arrived within five minutes.

Church, who has been driving for 14 years, always carries a first-aid kit with him. “I love this profession,” he said. “This is a career for me, and I want to make a difference. I enjoy what I do and like being helpful. I want to make sure everyone’s okay out here.”

TCA has presented Church with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.

The program is made possible by Presenting Sponsor, EpicVue, and Supporting Sponsor, DriverFacts.