Salt of the Earth

Driving on I-75 in Kentucky on a cold, wet December morning, truck driver Richard Kranz spotted a state highway salt truck driver standing behind his truck, frantically waving his left arm.

“At first I thought he might be waving hello,” Kranz of Perrysville, Ohio, said. “But I decided to stop and check it out.”

As Kranz approached the scene, he discovered that the man’s other arm was stuck in the spreader of his salt truck. The victim’s coat sleeve had gotten caught and pulled his arm down into the machine.

The victim instructed Kranz on how to shut off the machine, and then Kranz went to work freeing the man from the

“I grabbed my crowbar and pried the spreader back to free his arm,” Kranz said. “When I took his hand out, blood was squirting from the arteries.”

Kranz found materials in his truck to use as a tourniquet for the worker’s arm. After successfully stopping the bleeding, Kranz called for assistance on the salt truck’s two-way radio. As the two men waited for help to arrive, the victim began to fall in and out of consciousness. Help finally arrived in the form of a rescue squad and state trooper.

A 40-year veteran of the road, Kranz said he has often helped others on the road, but never someone in such a severe situation. Kranz attempted to discover the man’s condition, but because it was not a vehicular accident, there was no state police report filed.

Because of his selfless actions, Kranz was awarded the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angel award. He received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his efforts.

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 Trucks 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.

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