When owner-operator Tracy Fischer of Chester Hill, Pa., realized his trailer had been hit, his only thought was for the safety of the women behind him. For his selflessness, he has earned the title of Highway Angel from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).
Last July 8., Fischer was on I-70 westbound in Brookville, Ohio, in his rig leased to Barnhart Transportation of North East, Pa. He had come to a stop due to construction, and two women in a Jeep came up behind him and stopped as well. However, the driver of a tractor trailer behind the women was going too fast and slammed into them at full speed, pushing them into the back of Fischer’s trailer.
As soon as he realized what had happened, Fischer ran to the women and found that one was unconscious and the other was crying and obviously shaken. The scene was chaotic, with steam and smoke everywhere, the severely crunched car, and the strong odor of gasoline. He ran back to his truck, put on leather gloves, and, not knowing exactly what would need to be done, grabbed a fire extinguisher and winch bar. When he saw that fire was not an issue, he focused on trying to pry the women out.
However, they were trapped by the crumpled metal, and he could not free them. Fischer comforted the coherent woman until emergency personnel arrived and took over. Throughout the incident, no one stopped to help, and the driver who caused the accident never left his cab.
“I’m just a normal person, following in my Daddy’s footsteps as a trucker,” said Fischer when asked about the incident. “I would help anyone if they needed it, no matter what, when, or where.”
TCA has presented Fischer with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. The organization also gave Barnhart Transportation a certificate acknowledging that its driver is a Highway Angel.