OOIDA life member honored as Highway Angel
June 14, 2022
•Land Line Staff
A quick-thinking trucker who helped a motorist following a rush-hour crash is being recognized as a Highway Angel.
On June 10, the Truckload Carriers Association named Tony Barton a recipient of their Highway Angel award. Barton, an OOIDA life member from Blountville, Tenn., received the honor for using his truck to block and protect a vehicle and driver following a crash in Nashville, Tenn.
At 4:45 a.m. on April 21, Barton, a driver for Oklahoma City, Okla.-based FTC Transportation Inc., said he noticed a black BMW SUV fishtailing. The driver of the SUV then lost control and ran head-on into a concrete barrier. Barton observed the vehicle roll over completely, land back onto its wheels, and come to a stop next to his truck. He said he was forced to stop.
“I didn’t want to T-bone this woman that just rolled her car,” Barton told TCA. “It was right in the middle of the road.”
After dialing 911, Barton then rushed to check on the motorist. Upon arriving at the crashed vehicle, he found the driver conscious and talking. Barton said the driver was in pain and seemed confused.
He kept his truck parked in the middle of the interstate to block and protect the vehicle from being hit by oncoming traffic until emergency responders could arrive. Barton thanked his decades of service as a volunteer firefighter for preparing him to respond accordingly in situations such as this.
“I wanted to block the lane so nobody else could hit her,” he said. “My first instinct in any kind of accident like that is to help do whatever I can for somebody that’s injured – it’s not the worst wreck I’ve seen, but it’s not the smallest either.”
TCA presents recipients of the Highway Angel award with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. Barton’s company also will receive a letter acknowledging him as a Highway Angel.
According to the Alexandria, Va.-based association, nearly 1,300 professional drivers have received the Highway Angel honor since its inception in August 1997. The award is intended to showcase drivers and the “exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.” LL