Larry Druckamiller of Warsaw, Ind., has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association after rescuing a motorist from a one-car accident.
Druckamiller drives for Ruan Transportation Management Systems of Des Moines, Iowa.
It was about 3:00 a.m., on February 26, 2012, and Druckamiller was driving on Route 41 just north of Schneider, Ind.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a small light coming from a bean field in the distance. Curious, he pulled over and positioned his tractor so the headlights illuminated the field. He saw a car had rolled and flipped upside down and landed nearly 150 feet off the roadway and down a steep embankment.
He saw two legs sticking out of the passenger side.
The driver of the car was unable to move, but he could talk. He told Druckamiller he believed he had a broken collarbone and ribs, among other injuries.
He had swerved to avoid an animal and had been trapped in the cold for more than an hour and a half, hoping someone would see him. During this time, about 12 vehicles passed by, and each time, the injured driver tried to attract attention by turning on the ignition. He hoped that someone might see his headlights and stop. Little did he know that both the front and rear bumpers of his vehicle had been ripped off, and the only light that was still working was one tiny marker light that illuminated his license plate.
Druckamiller immediately called 911 and told responders where to find them. As they waited for emergency personnel to arrive, he calmed the man down and gave him paper towels for the blood running down his face. It would take three firemen to cut the man out, and Druckamiller stayed until the end to help them carry him up the embankment.
For rescuing the man, Druckamiller has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch from TCA. Ruan Transportation Management Systems also recognized his actions by presenting him with its Gold “R” Award, the company’s highest and most distinguished team member honor.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.