Taking Charge

Clarence Charity of Clarksville, Tenn., was driving cautiously down I-540 in Fort Smith, Ark., during heavy rainfall when a woman drove past him and lost control of her car.

The car hydroplaned, spun out of control, hit the barrier wall and rolled over several times. “I managed to miss her because I wasn’t going too fast, and I was able to pull over without skidding,” Charity says.

Once he arrived at the scene, Charity took charge of the situation. “At that moment, my primary responsibility was to get her squared away and then make sure the scene was appropriate for the police to get in and do what they needed to do and for the emergency recovery as well,” he says.

Charity and another motorist helped the frightened, bleeding woman from the car to a safe place. Charity then removed debris from the road and directed traffic. “I just believe in taking charge. My personal safety was not in question,” he says.

“I don’t have to tell you what the outcome would have been had he not been able to avoid this collision,” says Trooper Tim Taylor of the Arkansas State Police. “If everyone drove as well as he did that day, the highways would be a much safer place.”

The Highway Angel program recognizes hundreds of truck drivers for their unusual kindness and courtesy to others while on the job. Petro Stopping Centers and Volvo North America are exclusive sponsors of the Highway Angel Program, which was initiated in 1997. The goal of the program is to support driver professionalism and elevate public awareness of the many outstanding drivers in the trucking industry.