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Trucker a Highway Angel for helping couple after spinout

Hirschbach driver took immediate action on icy Illinois road

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves & TCA)

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named Nick Still a Highway Angel. Still, from Monmouth, Illinois, stopped to help a couple after their pickup truck spun out during a winter storm.

It happened in the late morning of Feb. 8, 2021, when Still was heading down U.S. Highway 34 near Galesburg, Illinois, just 15 miles from his home. It was sleeting and snowing and the roads were slick, so he left some distance between himself and the couple’s pickup truck ahead of him.

“Just as we were approaching an overpass, I watched him spin out. They spun around and rolled,” Still told TCA. “A big cloud of powdery snow went up, and when it settled, they were laying on the passenger side in the ditch.”

Still said the driver wasn’t driving erratically but simply hit a patch of black ice under a thin layer of snow. “I pulled to the side, threw on my hazards and called 911,” Still said.

According to National Weather Service records, temperatures in the area were in the single digits. Despite the bitter cold, Still didn’t think twice about helping. He ran to the overturned vehicle as the driver was climbing out of the driver’s door. “I gave him a hand and then helped lift his wife out,” Still recalled.

Still said the couple were probably in their 50s and were fortunate to walk away without any major injuries. Still surmised that the woman may have injured her arm since the vehicle landed on the passenger side. “It all happened so fast that I didn’t even catch their names,” Still admitted. “I was just trying to make sure they were OK.” He waited with the couple until police and emergency medical technicians arrived.

Related: Trucker a Highway Angel for rescuing family after spinout

Still has been driving with Hirschbach Motor Lines for three years and is also a certified driver for Truckers Against Trafficking. Although Still hasn’t encountered a trafficking situation yet, he said he is always on the lookout for people on the road who may need help.

TCA recently presented Still with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging its driver as a Highway Angel.

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. The program is made possible by Presenting Sponsor, EpicVue, and Supporting Sponsor, DriverFacts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.