The Truckload Carriers Association is honoring N. Yanke Transfer drivers Jason Siddons and Paul Farrell as Highway Angels for assisting two brothers who were injured when their pickup truck swerved off the road.
The incident took place on Nov. 23, 2008, at about 12:15 a.m. on Highway 17 in northern Ontario. As Siddons drove and Farrell slept in the sleeper berth, Siddons spotted the pickup, which had flipped onto its roof and then landed back on its wheels again. The occupants looked like they were trying to get out. Siddons called to Farrell to get up and help him, and then ran immediately to the pickup, with Farrell following. When they arrived, they found two male occupants, one of which had deep cuts on his head and face and was losing a fair amount of blood.
Farrell helped stop the bleeding with a dressing and cleaned the man up, while Siddons called emergency services. Both drivers remained with the victims for about a half hour, giving them a warm place to wait until emergency services arrived and transported the two victims to the hospital. It was somewhat risky for them to wait so long in the truck as vehicles whizzed by because they were hauling explosives; however, the drivers decided to stay put until they could provide statements to the police and then continue on their way.
Later, the victim who had the cuts spoke to the drivers’ director of fleet safety and recruiting. He said that he and his brother had been taking turns driving continuously home from attending a funeral, when his brother fell asleep at the wheel. If it weren’t for the kindness of Siddons and Farrell, he said, he was not sure he would be alive today.
Siddons and Farrell, who are both from the United Kingdom, said they are unfamiliar with TCA’s Highway Angels program. “We didn’t do it for any special recognition,” Siddons said. “It’s just second nature for us to stop and help. When you see someone in trouble, you help them.”
Siddons and Farrell received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for their efforts. N. Yanke Transfer, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, also received a certificate acknowledging that two of its drivers are Highway Angels.