The Truckload Carriers Association has named Charles Jasewicz, a professional truck driver with H.O. Wolding, a Highway Angel, for stopping to help a motorist who was ejected during a vehicle rollover and then pinned under his vehicle.
One early morning in November, Jasewicz was driving through New Mexico with a load bound for Lebanon, Tennessee. He regularly drives this route through the desert. He was about 10 miles outside Tumcari when he saw what looked to be an abandoned vehicle a short distance off the road; a common occurrence.
“I usually don’t stop for anything in the desert,” says Jasewicz. “I’ve been driving 20 years and you see a lot of abandoned cars out there.” He was going to pass it by. But when he looked again, he saw legs moving from underneath the four-door sedan. “It looked like he had crossed over the median, lost control, and ran off the road.”
Jasewicz figures the vehicle must have rolled and ejected the driver and then landed on him with its wheels on the ground. Charles quickly pulled to the shoulder and ran to the vehicle.
“The driver was kicking his legs and yelling for help,” Charles says. “He was dead center under the car. The engine was still running and the exhaust pipe was resting on his neck, burning him. He was screaming that he couldn’t breathe.”
Charles quickly turned the engine off and then looked for a jack but couldn’t find it. The contents of the vehicle were strewn all over. He knew he couldn’t lift the car by himself. He’s thankful a team of Old Dominion Freight Line drivers pulled over. They worked with Charles to lift the car enough to wedge the spare tire under the bumper to lift the exhaust pipe off the trapped man.
Charles says it took 30 minutes for emergency responders to arrive. They then deployed air bags so they could pull the driver out. Charles was understandably worried about the man’s fate. He called the area hospital that night and learned that, thankfully, the driver was expected to survive.
For his willingness to assist his fellow drivers, TCA has presented Jasewicz with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program.