OOIDA member named Highway Angel of the Year

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 3/8/2016

OOIDA Member Josh Grimaldi recently received the 2015 Highway Angel of the Year award from the Truckload Carriers Association and EpicVue.

Grimaldi is a truck driver for Prime Inc. in Springfield, Mo., and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned the honor for helping a pregnant woman escape her crushed car after a rollover accident in December along Interstate 80 in Nevada.

Photo courtesy of Josh Grimaldi

OOIDA Member Josh Grimaldi helped a pregnant woman from her vehicle after a rollover crash on Dec. 13, 2015, along Interstate 80 in Nevada.

Grimaldi was recognized Monday, March 7, at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. He was presented with a trophy and a complimentary EpicVue satellite TV package that includes a 24-inch flat screen television, a DVR, and a one-year subscription to more than 100 channels of DIRECTV programming. Nashville recording artist Lindsay Lawler also sang “Highway Angel” at the ceremony.

In a Feb. 17 Land Line story, Grimaldi recounted the December accident.

On a snowy Dec. 13 day about 30 miles east of Reno, Grimaldi said a vehicle attempted to pass him. Before reaching the front of his tractor, Grimaldi said the vehicle began to fishtail. The vehicle then became caught on the tractor-trailer’s landing gear before flipping several times and rolling over on its side near an embankment.

Photo courtesy of Truckload Carriers Association

OOIDA Member Josh Grimaldi received the 2015 Highway Angel of the Year award on Monday in Las Vegas.

“Once I got close to the vehicle, I began to approach it slowly,” Grimaldi said. “The vehicle was crushed. I figured whoever was in there was definitely dead.”

But the woman inside began to scream. Grimaldi learned from the screams that the woman was pregnant. Eventually, Grimaldi was able to lift her and help her on top of the car and then to the embankment. Soon after, a vehicle stopped to help and they were able to call 911.

It was the second time in a span of eight months that the first-year truck driver helped at the scene of a crash. In April 2015, Grimaldi assisted a man who suffered serious injuries after his vehicle came off an overpass on I-45 in Texas.

Grimaldi said his five years of military experience provided him enough knowledge to assist the victims until medical responders arrived.
“I suppose you could say I was just at the right place at the right time,” Grimaldi said. “I think it all happens for a reason.”

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