BISON TRANSPORT DRIVER AIDS MOTORIST AND ALMOST GETS HIM TO THE CHURCH IN TIME
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Greg Vandal, from Strathmore, Alberta, Canada, a Highway Angel for helping a stranded motorist, en route to a wedding, following a fire that destroyed his vehicle.
Vandal was on the Trans-Canada Highway one morning in mid-December, pulling a double trailer bound for Calgary, when he saw a vehicle on the shoulder with white smoke billowing around it. “As I got closer, I could see flames where the gas tank would be,” he shared with TCA. He quickly prepared to pull over. “I grabbed my fire extinguisher, but by the time I got there, the fire was too far gone and the fire extinguisher didn’t do much.” Thankfully, the driver was out of the vehicle and unharmed. The man asked Vandal to break a back window so he could retrieve his suitcase. Vandal noticed the car’s New York license plates. “The poor guy was out there in the middle of nowhere and it was very cold, maybe -20 degrees and he wasn’t dressed for the occasion,” he said. Vandal invited him to sit in the cab to warm up. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire, but not before it had totally consumed the vehicle.
Vandal learned the motorist was driving from New York to Calgary for his goddaughter’s wedding. He had 400 miles to go. Vandal contacted Bison Transport to request permission for him to ride along with him to Calgary. The request was approved. The two men settled in for a long drive and got to know one another. Vandal asked him when the wedding was taking place. “He looked at his watch and said, ‘right now.’ Well, that wasn’t going to happen for him.” Although Vandal wouldn’t be able to get the man to church in time for the wedding, he could probably get him to Calgary in time to catch part of the reception. Now the two men were on a mission. “When we got to Calgary, I dropped my trailers at their location, dropped the tractor, and then we hopped in my car and I got him to the wedding reception,” Vandal said with a smile.
The driver’s family warmly welcomed Vandal and invited him to join them. “They were very gracious and kinda gave me a celebrity’s welcome,” shared Vandal. “It was a wonderful time. I met some really, really nice people.” The two men have since become good friends.
Bison Transport received a note of thanks from the motorist. In part, he said, “Greg’s act of selflessness and spirit of goodness personifies what it is to be a hero and for that my family and I are incredibly grateful. When I look back on the events of 2021 . . . the only defining moment for me was when Greg and I crossed paths on a lone stretch of Canadian highway and instantly formed a lifelong bond and friendship.”
TCA has presented him with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. The company has also received a letter acknowledging him 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.