Ruan Transport driver named TCA’s 2010 Highway Angel of the Year

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Updated Nov 2, 2010

The Truckload Carriers Association announced that its 2010 Highway Angel of the Year is Shawn Hubbard, a professional driver with Ruan Transport Corp. of Des Moines, Iowa. Hubbard, who saved the life of a young man trapped inside a burning car, will be the third Highway Angel of the Year to be recognized Dec. 18 at the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl at Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

Hubbard’s story begins on Nov.13, 2009, at 3:35 a.m. He had just made a delivery and was heading east on Interstate 60 in California when he came across a car on fire. The car appeared to have smashed into several steel poles and had come to rest in a ditch against a 40-foot-high embankment. Two people were still inside the vehicle: the driver, who appeared to be dead, and a passenger, who was still alive, but pinned on all sides by the crushed car. Using two fire extinguishers, Hubbard was able to slow the flames down, but could not fully extinguish them.

With adrenaline providing an extra boost of energy, Hubbard was able to pull the debris and collapsed roof off the car so the passenger could escape. Screaming at him to move quickly regardless of the pain, Hubbard got the heavy-set man out and pushed him up the hill to safety, seconds before flames fully engulfed the car. The California Highway Patrol was so impressed that it later presented him with a Certificate of Commendation. He also received an award from the L.A. County Supervisor as well as a Gold “R” certificate from Ruan.

“What Hubbard did was extraordinary, but even more incredible is the fact that throughout the entire event, hundreds of cars passed by on the busy seven-lane highway, but – other than the truck driver who originally called 911 and someone who tossed a second fire extinguisher down the embankment to Hubbard – not a single person stopped to help,” says John Kaburick, TCA chairman and president of Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co., based in Salem, Illinois.

The decision to name Hubbard as the 2010 Highway Angel of the Year was made by the TCA Communications & Image Policy Committee, which oversees the Highway Angel program. Hubbard will be flown to the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, accompanied by Ralph Arthur, president of Dedicated Contract Carriage for Ruan Transport Corp. After his story is told, he will receive a trophy in front of the 34,000-person audience. The event is sure to attract massive publicity for the Highway Angel program, furthering its goal of educating the general public about the good deeds that professional truck drivers do every day in the course of their jobs.