A truck driver from Kelowna has been recognized as a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for her heroic efforts in stopping at the scene of an accident along the Trans-Canada Highway in June.
At around 5:30 a.m. on June 6, Donna Wright from Kelowna was behind the wheel while her husband Geoffrey slept in the back. The two were heading eastbound from Vancouver to Ontario on the Trans-Canada highway when she noticed something was wrong.
“It was just starting to get light out as we approached Salmon Arm (British Columbia),” said Wright.
“I noticed there was a lot of mud strewn across the highway.”
Looking farther ahead Wright was alarmed to see a semi-truck 20 feet off the side of the road in a marshy area with the tractor on its side. The driver had just missed a concrete barrier. Wright put her hazards on, pulled over and then grabbed her headset as she jumped out.
“My heart was racing,” said Wright. “I knew in my heart of hearts that I needed to do what I could, but I don’t deal well with tragedy or blood.”
In fact, she can become faint at the sight of it, she said.
“The best thing I could do was to call 911 and get them dispatched.”
While Wright knew she couldn’t get too close, she called out to the driver to see if he was okay and if there was anyone else in the cab. At about that time a driver in a pickup pulled over. As he ran down into the marsh, the truck driver emerged and was able to get himself out of the truck.
“He was coherent and was able to answer questions and didn’t appear to have any serious injuries,” said Wright.
Police and an ambulance arrived minutes later. Wright said her husband, Geoffrey, slept through all of it.
“I did wake him up afterward,” she said. “He was actually quite taken aback that I would do that because of my fear of blood — a little scratch on my finger and I pass out.” she laughed. “He was quite pleased with me. I’m glad I could do that for a fellow driver. I would hope someone would do that for me if something were to happen.”
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy and courage they have displayed while on the job.