Marcus Beam, a driver for Epes Transport System of Greensboro, N.C., has been selected the Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel of the Year.
Beam will receive a trophy from TCA and Internet Truckstop, the Highway Angel program’s sponsor, at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl) on Dec. 17 in Boise, Idaho.
On the night of Aug. 8, Beam was driving on Interstate 40 near Benson, N.C., to Henderson, N.C., to drop off a load when he saw a speeding car strike a vehicle, causing it to flip and careen down an embankment into woods.
He approached the accident scene and saw the driver was trapped by her seatbelt and hanging halfway out of a window. She was shouting, “My babies! My babies!” Beam pulled her out and turned the engine off. He then turned his attention to the back seat, where a 6-month old infant and a toddler were dangling upside down from their car seats. The infant appeared to be choking against the car seat’s straps.
Accessing the children was difficult because the roof was crushed and the opening between the front and back seats was only about 12 inches. On his back Beam maneuvered backward until he could free the children. He realized he was covered in broken glass, but he was not injured during the rescue. “All I could think was I had to get those babies out of the car,” he told TCA. “I didn’t even consider the possible danger to myself.”
Beam will be flown to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, accompanied by Kevin Rickansrud, Epes vice president of operations, and JT Toler, director of dedicated operations.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.