The Truckload Carriers Association has named Gyslain “Juice” Lemelin, a driver for N. Yanke Transfer of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as a Highway Angel.
On Oct. 23, Lemelin was heading west on the Trans-Canada Highway near Virden, Manitoba, when he was passed by two people in a pickup truck. As they passed by, Lemelin smelled a burning chemical-like odor coming from the pickup. Just moments later, he saw a puff of white smoke in the distance and knew the motorists were in trouble.
“I had a feeling they weren’t going to get very far,” says Lemelin, who has had training as a mechanic. “I’ve smelled that smell before. I knew it was the transmission – transmission fluid is highly flammable.”
By the time Lemelin arrived at the scene, the truck was on fire. Lemelin used his fire extinguisher to put out the flames while the motorists removed their dogs and valuables from the vehicle. When the fire was out, he allowed the couple to use his cell phone to call for assistance.
The grateful motorists later wrote a complimentary e-mail to N. Yanke Transfer praising Lemelin for his quick actions. “Please tell [Lemelin] that random acts of kindness don’t go without notice, and we are both grateful that he didn’t just drive on by like everyone else,” they said.