The Truckload Carriers Assn. has named Larry Druckamiller of Warsaw, IN, a Highway Angel for rescuing an injured motorist on a cold night in late February, saving his life.
At 3 a.m., Feb. 26, 2012, Druckamiller was driving on Rt. 41 just north of Schneider, IN, when out of the corner of his eye he noticed a small light in the distance in a bean field. Curious, the trucker pulled over and positioned his tractor so the headlights illuminated the field. To his surprise, he discovered a car that had rolled three or four times, flipped upside down and landed nearly 150 feet off the roadway down a steep embankment. The driver’s side of the car was crushed and Druckamiller saw two legs sticking out of the passenger side.
“Are you still alive?” the trucker asked.
“Oh, yeah!” came the relieved response from the 27-year old driver, who was unable to move. The injured man told Druckamiller he believed he had a broken collarbone and ribs, among other injuries. He had swerved to avoid an animal and had been trapped in the cold for more than an hour and a half, hoping someone would find him.
The injured motorist said as many as 12 vehicles had passed by after the crash. Each time he tried to attract attention by turning on the ignition, hoping that someone might see his headlights and stop. Little did he know that both the front and rear bumpers of his vehicle had been ripped off and the only light that was still working was the tiny marker light that illuminated his license plate.
Druckamiller immediately called 911 and told responders where to find them. As they waited for emergency personnel to arrive, he calmed the man down and gave him paper towels for the blood running down his face. It would take three firemen to cut the man out, and Druckamiller stayed until the end to help them carry him up the embankment.
The authorities thanked Druckamiller, who drives for Ruan Transportation Management Systems of Des Moines, IA, for his help and commended him for his keen observance. Without him, it is possible that the man could have frozen or bled to death.
Druckamiller said he felt God played a part in what took place that night. “I have no idea why I went that particular way on that particular morning. The road I took is not my usual route… it’s much bumpier. Maybe that guy was praying for help, and an Angel sent me that way?” he speculated.
For rescuing the man, Druckamiller has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch from TCA. Ruan Transportation Management Systems also recognized his actions by presenting him with its Gold “R” Award, the company’s highest and most distinguished team member honor.
Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.
To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to http://www.truckload.org/highway-angel www.truckload.org/highway-angel%20or visit the Highway Angels Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or [email protected].