The latest Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel is John Manering, a professional truck driver for Minstar Transport of Eagan, Minn. Manering was named a Highway Angel for helping minimize a victim’s pain at the scene of an accident. On April 28 at about 9:30 a.m., Manering witnessed an accident at the interchange of Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 65 southeast of Albert Lea, Minn. He saw a pickup truck improperly pull in front of a dump truck; both vehicles were hauling heavy loads for their size.
The dump truck hit the pickup, lost its load of sand and ended up on its side, crushing the rear of the pickup as well as its own passenger side. The dump truck’s airbag deployed, and its driver was trapped by the steering wheel and the broken shifting column. He could not move and was hanging from his seatbelt.
Manering immediately pulled over, called 911 and went to assist the dump truck driver, while someone else went to help the driver of the pickup. The dump truck driver, who told Manering his name was Pete, said his legs and body hurt a lot. To ease his pain, Manering climbed into the cab backwards and allowed Pete’s chest to rest on his shoulders, thus transferring the bulk of his weight onto Manering’s back.
Amazingly, Manering stayed that way for nearly 30 minutes while emergency personnel arrived and first attended to the pickup’s driver, whose injuries were more serious. Manering talked to Pete to keep his mind off the pain. “My company asked me how I did it, how I could hold that weight for so long,” says Manering, a 10-year truck driver with a million safe miles under his belt. “My instincts just kicked in. I did it on adrenaline.”
Pete’s wife later called to thank Manering for his assistance and tell him how grateful she and her husband were for his help. She said her husband had suffered a broken collarbone and two broken ribs, but would make a full recovery. For going above and beyond in the course of his job as a truck driver, Manering received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. Minstar Transport also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.