John Crozman, an independent contractor leased to Long Haul Trucking of Albertville, Minn., has been named a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel.
On Feb. 3, a blizzard with dense fog and blowing snow brought nearly all traffic on Interstate 29 near Summit, S.D., to a standstill. Crozman, who had been trying to get to the nearest truck stop, was forced to pull off at an exit to wait out the storm. He saw a candle flickering in a nearby van and decided to brave the minus-60-degree wind chill factor to investigate. Donning his snowmobile suit, he found Thomas and Mary Lynne Fischer nearly hypothermic and struggling to stay warm.
The Fischers thought they were prepared for any weather problems that might arise. When the sudden intense blizzard hit, they had pulled over, isolated from other vehicles that had stopped ahead of them and behind them. For four hours, 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts rocked their van. “When we opened our door to him, we were shivering uncontrollably and terribly frightened,” wrote the Fischers in a letter to Long Haul Trucking. “He quite literally saved our lives.”
Crozman brought the Fischers into his warm truck and drove to the truckstop. He made sure the couple got hot coffee and food, and then allowed the couple to sleep in his truck’s bunk that night. The next day, he ensured their vehicle was rescued prior to continuing on his route.
“We have always had the utmost respect for those individuals involved in the trucking industry, and now we owe our lives to one of them,” the Fischers wrote. “John is a fine man – he is our hero, and we will never forget what he did for us on that frigid night.”