Heroic pair earns wings as Highway Angels
Mar 14, 2003 12:00 PM, staff and wire reportsThe Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized Rodney “Rocky” Tasso and Devin Bruce of Westvalley and Tremonton UT, respectively, as Highway Angels for assisting a family involved in a serious car accident.
Tasso and Bruce were on a training trip for Merit Distribution Services Inc, a for-hire carrier operated by the McLane Companies division of Wal-Mart. They were traveling eastbound on a desolate area of Interstate 70 through Utah on a cold evening, and the roads were slick.
Suddenly, the men caught a strange sight in the westbound lane: headlights running sideways. As the driver attempted to straighten out the vehicle, he hit the sandy median, and the car flipped over several times.
The two truckers carefully stopped, then hurried to the scene, with Tasso dialing 911 on his cell phone as he ran. They found a child, a young man, and a young woman partially out of the vehicle when they arrived and an elderly woman lying on the snowy ground outside the vehicle.
“I took my coat off and covered the lady on the ground,” said Bruce, adding that he “didn’t dare move her,” because he suspected her injuries were fatal. Shortly thereafter, “I saw her take her last breath,” he said. “We didn’t say anything to (the others); we didn’t want to create further havoc.”
The truckers assisted the other three individuals, who appeared to have minor injuries.
While the young man stayed by the vehicle, Bruce took the woman and child to their truck to keep them warm. He put yellow triangles on the road and got on the CB to warn others of the situation. Tasso stayed with the elderly woman and spoke with the young man to calm him, letting him use his cell phone to call relatives in California.
The paramedics arrived about a half hour later.
Both Tasso and Bruce received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for their efforts. Their employer, Merit Distribution Services, also received a certificate for acknowledging these Highway Angels.