Trucking News Online

NY Truck Driver Earns Hero Title for Pulling Motorist from Burning Car

February 11, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, Image, News, Safety

New York truck driver Julian Kaczor, who drives for Leonard’s Transportation of Farmington, N.Y., has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) after saving a man trapped in a burning car after it crashed.

In early July of this year, Kaczor said he was driving in the center lane of a construction zone south on I-95 in Jacksonville, Fla., when a car sped past him, nearly hitting his truck.

A short distance later, the car crashed into road construction barriers and spun out of control, coming to rest in the middle of the highway. Kaczor ran to check on the driver and as he approached, he spotted a fire starting under the hood. He quickly retrieved his fire extinguisher from his truck and started battling the fire, which was growing fast and soon became too much for his extinguisher alone.

Kaczor knew he had to get the driver out of the car, so he began to pry the car door open with his bare hands. “The driver had several large gashes on his forehead and there was blood everywhere,” Kaczor recalled. He pulled the driver from the flaming car and carried him about 15 feet away. Another truck driver had stopped to help and the two carried the injured man to safety. The other truck driver left before anyone could get his name and thank him for his help.

Kaczor, who has been a truck driver for two decades, said, “I don’t consider myself a hero. I was just doing my job. It’s all about paying it forward.”

For his willingness to help, TCA has presented Kaczor with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decal. Leonard’s Transportation Inc. also received a certificate acknowledging Julian Kaczor as a Highway Angel.