An Alabama trucker has been recognized for his actions at the scene of an accident.
The Truckload Carriers Association recently named truck driver Michael Lee, from Madison, Alabama, a Highway Angel for stopping to offer aid to crash victims after a multi-vehicle accident with injuries. Lee drives for Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, Lee was traveling in Florida on Interstate 95 North just before exit 337, when he approached a five-car accident that had just taken place.
“The traffic started to part ways like the holy waters,” Lee said. “and when I got up there, I saw more and more of it.”
Lee described the accident as happening between five cars that had a chain reaction, swerving to avoid one another, and crashing and stopping mid-highway.
“When I got up there, there’s a whole bunch of people around the white Buick (involved in the accident),” Lee said. “The door was caved in and I asked if the lady was trapped in there and they said, ‘Yes, she is’.”
Lee jumped into action and tried to rescue the trapped, injured woman with the binder bar from his truck, but was unable to get her out. As a former member of the U.S. Air Force and a volunteer firefighter, he had training that helped him assess the situation.
“The best that I could do was just to try to keep her comfortable and keep her still,” he said. “I did what I could to keep her awake and calm until the paramedics and rescue arrived.”
Police asked Lee, who has been a trucker for the past 10 years, to use his CB to get the truckers to make room for the emergency vehicles. Three people were taken to the hospital, all three were alive and are going to recover. The lady that was trapped will probably have a long hospital stay, but she will recover, according to paramedics.
“I don’t feel like a hero mainly because that would entail being more involved in the process than what I was,” Lee humbly said.
Fortunately, due to Lee’s emergency training, he knew not to move the woman from the car and risk further injury. Keeping her calm and focused was the most helpful thing to do, under the circumstances.
Since the program’s inception in August of 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 Lee.