The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named Boyd Miles of Rocky Mount, Va., as its latest Highway Angel after the professional truck driver pushed another driver who was standing on the edge of a freeway out of harm’s way, sacrificing his own life in the effort.
Miles was a professional truck driver for Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Mo., when the accident occurred on April 26, 2014.
Miles and Christopher Crandall, his fellow team driver — and his cousin had just left the Salt Lake City terminal at about 1:30 a.m., heading toward California on I-15 outside of Lehi, Utah. Twenty-eight miles into their trip, the truck lost its coolant, forcing the team to stop on the side of the road. Miles and Crandall immediately turned on the truck’s flashers and placed cones and triangles around them so that oncoming traffic would be aware of their presence.
Prime sent a mechanic to help, but when he couldn’t fix the problem, a professional tow service was called. When the tow driver arrived, he had a problem with the hooks, so he asked the cousins to step out of their cab. They obliged and went to the passenger side of the tractor-trailer next to the barrier on the road’s shoulder. They watched while the tow truck driver did his work.
Suddenly, Crandall heard a voice shout, “Watch out,” and then, he said, everything went black. When he awoke, he was unable to move below his waist and learned from the paramedics that someone had died. Crandall was airlifted to a local hospital, where he began treatment for a compound fracture, broken ankle and a fractured scapula. When he woke up on a gurney, being wheeled down the hall, his fears were confirmed. Boyd had lost his life in an effort to save him.
It would later come to light that a fatigued driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, crossed the lanes of the highway, and had headed right for Miles and Crandall. The voice that had called out had come from Miles who, without hesitation, ran toward his cousin and pushed him out of harm’s way.
In the nomination for Miles as a Highway Angel, Prime Inc. officials wrote: “Our company is terribly saddened by the loss of Boyd, but we are all so grateful for his sacrifice and that Chris is still here with us today. Boyd was selfless and deserves to be honored for his act of courage.”
Highway Angels are normally presented with a certificate, patch, truck decal and lapel pin. In this case, the materials were sent to Prime Inc., which presented them to Crandall on behalf of Miles. Prime Inc., also received a certificate acknowledging Miles as a Highway Angel.