TCA salutes Highway Angel

| 2/6/2003

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized truckdriver David Dunham as a Highway Angel for “the selfless action and remarkable courage he showed” in saving the life of another trucker.

Dunham, of Fitchburg, MA, was driving I-40 in New Mexico last December when he heard on his CB radio that a trucker just ahead of him needed help.

“I stopped as soon as I heard,” Dunham said.

He grabbed his flashlight and began to run down the median to where he could see a truck off the road. As he got closer, he realized the entire nose of the truck was crushed. Seeing the condition of the vehicle, Dunham said, “I started to slow down because I felt no one could survive that.”

Then he heard a man call out, so he ran faster. However, he lost his balance, falling on the rough barrier rocks. Dunham cut his hands and knees and sprained his thumb, but he wasn't deterred.

“As soon as I got up, I saw flames coming from the truck, or what was left of the truck,” Dunham recalled. “I saw the man's head and hands outstretched.”

He rushed over, grabbed the driver and pulled him out of the vehicle.

“As I was pulling him out, flames were coming up to his midsection.”

By the time he had safely pulled the driver from the truck, the cab was engulfed in flames. Neither man reportedly suffered any burns.

Outside the truck, Dunham helped the driver through the frigid cold and snow to his cab, where they waited for emergency personnel. A short time later, Dunham was back on the road to deliver his load.

When asked whether he thought about his own safety when he saw the flames, Dunham said, “There was no thought process. It was a total reaction. I saw something that needed to be done and I did it.”