Trucker recognized for helping save trapped motorist, dog after crash

Brian SnellBrian Snell

A New Hampshire-based truck driver has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for rescuing a trapped motorist from a crushed vehicle just before the car caught on fire, as well as saving a dog who was trapped in a second vehicle after the driver passed away.

On June 8, 2018, Brian Snell was driving along I-495 in Westward, Massachusetts, when he saw a woman driving the wrong way on the highway then spin out in front of his truck. Snell, a former paramedic, then stopped his truck to block the road and protect the woman’s car because she didn’t have her lights on, then went over and started trying to resuscitate the woman, who he noticed was unconscious.

As he was trying to help the woman, he saw the engine was on fire, so he grabbed his fire extinguisher and began to put out the fire. Snell then heard someone yelling that they couldn’t get into a vehicle, and he saw that the woman had hit another car head-on before stopping. He ran over and checked the man’s pulse and vitals and realized the man had passed away.

“The car had crushed him,” Snell said. “So as hard as it was to leave his side, I ran back to the woman to continue working on her.”

When emergency personnel arrived, Snell helped remove the doors from the woman’s car so she could be rushed to the hospital. When he went back to the deceased man’s car, he saw a dog was inside.

We got the dog to a vet and they were able to save and return the dog to the man’s family, which they were very happy about,” he said.

Snell later learned the female driver was heavily intoxicated and was charged with vehicular homicide.

Before getting into trucking, Snell served in the Marine Corps, then worked as a paramedic and was a rescue worker following Sept. 11, 2001, at Ground Zero. He lost a lung during the rescue efforts and had to leave law enforcement, so he started his career in trucking.

For his willingness to help, TCA presented Snell with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. His fleet, Pottle’s Transportation, also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. The Highway Angel program is sponsored by EpicVue.

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