Josh Grimaldi, a truck driver for Prime Inc. in Springfield, Mo., has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) after rescuing a pregnant woman following a rollover accident.
On a cold and snowy evening last Dec. 13, Grimaldi was driving westbound on Interstate 80 over Donner Pass heading to California. He happened to glance in his side mirror just as a car was attempting to pass him.
The car hit an icy patch and began to fishtail, striking the back of Grimaldi’s trailer and blowing his trailer tire. The car, which was still in a spin, then flipped several times before coming to rest on its side near the edge of the road.
Grimaldi immediately pulled over and ran to the vehicle. “The car was completely crushed, I thought whoever is in there was dead,” Grimaldi later recalled. He attempted to open the door with no success. He yelled to another motorist to call 911, then ran back to his truck and grabbed his mag flashlight, which he used to force open the car door.
Inside the car, Grimaldi found a woman in shock and screaming that she was pregnant. After several attempts to calm the woman and encourage her to crawl to him failed, he climbed into the vehicle and lifted the injured woman onto the top of the car. He then carried her to a nearby embankment and began to assess her injuries. After what seemed like an eternity another vehicle stopped to help, which happened to be a nurse on her way home from the nearby hospital.
After the driver was out of harm’s way and being comforted by the nurse, Grimaldi ran to his truck and began placing strobe lights on the crashed vehicle and setting up reflective safety triangles to warn other vehicles approaching the crash scene. Grimaldi then called 911 and spoke directly with the paramedics about the severity of the situation.
Grimaldi has been driving for about a year now, but before he became a driver he served in the United States Marine Corps for five years. His time in the military gave him great training to think on his feet and provided him limited medical experience. This is not the first time Grimaldi has be on the scene of an accident and helped someone in need. During his driver training he assisted in a rollover accident in Texas.
For his willingness to help, TCA has presented him with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal. Prime Inc also received a certificate acknowledging Grimaldi as a Highway Angel.