The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized Chad LeClair of Spencer, IA as a Highway Angel for assisting a baby involved in a serious accident.
LeClair, an owner-operator with Smithway Motor Express, was traveling on Interstate 80 through Nebraska, when a minivan "stuffed with belongings" sped past him. When the van attempted to return to the right-hand lane, the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, and it spun completely around in the road, traveled across the median, and then rolled and flipped over three times in a grassy area. In the process, LeClair saw what looked like a baby thrown from the vehicle.
"I thought it was a doll at first, the way it flew out of the van and bounced on the ground," he said. "My first instincts were to take care of that baby."
As soon as he touched her, the baby moved. LeClair was relieved. He checked the infant and found only a cut in her mouth and a little cut on the back of her head. Carefully, he placed her on a blanket given to him by another motorist. Then the baby rolled over on her own and started crying.
"I about lost it then. I was so thankful she was able to cry," said LeClair, who was thinking about his own child at home about the same age. "I was sweating bullets when I first got to the baby. I had never dealt with an infant in a situation like that."