Two truck operators out of Utah have been named the latest Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angels for their efforts in helping rescue a couple from a burning RV.
Mark Olsen of Clinton, Utah, and Brad Wenneberg of Smithfield, Utah, were following each other in the southbound lane on I-15 near the Nevada-Arizona border.
Olsen was leading, and when he passed a motor home on the side of the road, he saw smoke billowing from the engine.
The RV had just been purchased by a retiree and his wife, who sold their traditional home to buy the motor home. They had nearly all of their material possessions inside.
Olsen alerted Wenneberg to the trouble on the CB, and they both stopped on the shoulder and grabbed their fire extinguishers. The flames grew and intensified, however.
Two other motorists arrived and took the retiree’s wife away from the scene to try to calm her down. Meanwhile, Olsen and Wenneberg helped the husband release a pickup truck that was being pulled behind the RV.
Once it was released and away from the burning motor home, the RV’s tire’s began exploding. Olson and Wenneberg began stopping traffic to keep passersby safe. Their efforts there, TCA said, prevented a propane tank explosion from injuring other motorists.
The RV burned all the way to its frame, and the couple lost everything, including credit cards, money and cell phones. Their pickup, however, was safe.
Olsen and Wenneberg — after authorities arrived and before leaving — pooled the cash they had to try to get the couple a hotel room. They refused the money, but later wrote a letter to their carrier, L.W. Miller Transportation, calling them “true American heroes.”
Both Olsen and Wenneberg have 25 years of experience in the industry.
For their deeds, they have received certificates, patches and lapel pins acknowledging them as Highway Angels.