News roundup, March 4: Husband-wife team named Highway Angels of the Year

Updated Mar 5, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 4, 2020:

Ed and Tracy Zimmerman were named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.Ed and Tracy Zimmerman were named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.

Husband-wife team named Highway Angels of the Year
Ed and Tracy Zimmerman, a husband-wife team for Hirschbach Motor Lines, have been named the 2019 Highway Angels of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association.

The couple was recognized for their actions on May 25, 2019, when they drove up on a horrific accident along I-77 in West Virginia. Tracy was driving with Ed in the bunk asleep, and she saw a UPS truck and another vehicle stopped just ahead of her. Looking further ahead, she saw a car rolled over in a ditch on fire.

Tracy stopped the truck and positioned it to block traffic as another motorist ran up yelling for a fire extinguisher. He told Tracy the driver was trapped in his vehicle. She then grabbed the truck’s fire extinguisher and yelled for Ed, and they both ran over to the car.

They joined an off-duty firefighter who had also stopped at the scene. Another motorist used their fire extinguisher to keep the flames back while another person used a crowbar and smashed the passenger side window. The driver was conscious and told them his leg was stuck.

The Zimmermans worked with two other men to pull the man free, then carried him away from the vehicle. He told them he had a gun and ammunition in the car, so they moved as quickly as they could to put more distance between them and the burning car. Shortly after, the car exploded, sending glass and metal flying.

Unharmed, the Zimmermans remained on the scene until first responders arrived. As they got back in their truck, they looked at the clock and realized only 36 minutes had passed since they arrived on the scene.

The driver involved in the accident was seriously hurt, but the Zimmermans later saw a newspaper article stating he was expected to survive. They learned he had come off a night shift and apparently fell asleep at the wheel.

Trucker pulled from burning truck seconds before explosion
A truck driver who crashed along I-287 in New Jersey was pulled from his burning cab by two New Jersey State Troopers seconds before the truck exploded.

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Video footage released by New Jersey State Police shows Trooper Robert Tarleton speaking with a motorist on the side of the interstate when a tractor-trailer runs off the road nearby, striking a guardrail and bridge before becoming engulfed in flames. Tarleton then went back to his patrol car to request fire and medical services and drove closer to the scene of the crash.

As he approached the truck, an off-duty trooper, Lt. Edward Ryer, who witnessed the crash was already helping the trucker get out of his truck. The troopers then worked together to pull the man away from the burning cab as it began to explode.

Bodycam footage from Tarleton can be seen in the Facebook video below:

Troopers Pull Man from Fiery Truck Seconds before it Explodes Bridgewater Township, N.J. – Two New Jersey State Troopers pulled a man out of a burning tractor-trailer on Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County just seconds before it exploded. On Monday, March 2, at approximately 3:35 p.m., Trooper Robert Tarleton was speaking with a driver on a motor vehicle stop northbound on I-287 at milepost 20 when a nearby tractor trailer ran off the right side of the road in the express lanes, striking the guardrail and bridge abutment before becoming engulfed in flames. When Trooper Tarleton heard the impact and observed the crash, he immediately returned the driver’s credentials and ran back to his troop car to request for fire and emergency medical services personnel to respond to the crash. As he drove to the scene, Trooper Tarleton calmly provided an update to dispatch before exiting his vehicle and sprinting to the burning tractor-trailer. As he approached the truck, State Police Lieutenant Edward Ryer, who was on his way home from work when he witnessed the crash, was out of his vehicle attempting to rescue the driver from the cab. Trooper Tarleton and Lieutenant Ryer then worked together to pull the driver from the burning cab, dragging him to safety, seconds before it exploded. The driver sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Morristown Medical Center for evaluation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Posted by New Jersey State Police on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

No extended truck parking at Ormond Beach, Florida, Love’s during Daytona Bike Week

Bike Week is back and that means the Love’s in Ormond Beach, Florida will not have any truck parking for several days, only “fuel and go.”

The 79th annual Daytona Bike Week is March 6-15. Daytona Harley Davidson, a major participant of the annual motorcycle event, is located next door to the Love’s Travel Stop at I-95 and U.S. Hwy. 1. This means unusually high traffic volume in and around the area, which is why Love’s eliminates long-term parking.

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