The Truckload Carriers Association has named Alton Greeson, a professional truck driver for Transport America of Eagan, Minn., as its latest Highway Angel. It was about 8:40 a.m. on April 24, and Greeson was about to go through a toll booth near Carteret, N.J., on his way to pick up a load.
To his surprise, he saw a pickup truck that somehow had overturned and landed on a 3-foot high Jersey barrier that separated the toll lanes. At first, he assumed the incident had happened previously and that no one had removed the pickup yet, but then he saw passengers exiting the vehicle and realized that the accident was fresh. No one had stopped to help yet, although one of the two toll booth operators was in the process of calling 911.
As the other toll booth operator passed Greeson’s truck heading for the scene, Greeson asked if he could help because he had many of years of experience as a paramedic. She said yes, so he parked the truck out of the way and approached the pickup. He saw two adult female passengers and a baby. The baby was lying on the floor underneath the steering wheel, not breathing.
“Grab that baby – it’s turning blue!” the operator told Greeson, who began performing pediatric CPR on the baby until a state trooper arrived. Together, he and Greeson cleared the baby’s blocked airway and used a defibrillator to keep the baby alive until more emergency personnel arrived. Unfortunately, the baby did not survive.
This is the first time that Greeson has found himself able to help at the scene of an accident in the two years that he’s been a professional driver. “If I ever see anything like it again, I’ll definitely be helping again,” he says. “Even if a load is late, a life is more important.”