Marysville, Wash., driver Robert Tyler has been named the latest TCA Highway Angel for his efforts in assisting a motorist who had become incapacitated while stuck in traffic and blocking the car to prevent it from causing crashes.
The Smokey Point Distributing driver was driving bobtail Feb. 13 headed toward his company’s terminal when he saw several vehicles maneuvering around a car that was blocking a lane on 172nd St. in Arlington, Wash.
The car’s brake lights were on, but the car’s driver was slumped over the center console of the vehicle. he stopped his tractor a few feet ahead and went to assess the scene. The man in the car was unconscious and was only being held up by his seatbelt. The car was in Drive, but the driver’s foot was still on the brake.
He was convulsing, breathing sporadically and gasping for air.
The car’s doors and windows were locked, so no one could get in. Tyler went back to his tractor and moved it in front of the car to block it from moving, and then pulled a metal bar from his truck and broke into the driver’s side rear window. With the help of other bystanders, he opened the locks and doors, turned off the car and pulled the man onto the ground.
A nurse who had stopped helped him administer CPR until paramedics arrived.
“All I could think was ‘this car is going to take off and slam into oncoming traffic if his foot slides off that brake,’” said Tyler, a commercial truck driver for more than 30 years. “So I placed my truck in front of his car without touching it, just enough so if it started moving, it could only go a few inches.”
Tyler has been presented with a certificate, patch and lapel pin for his actions.