The Truckload Carriers Association has named Marcus Beam, a professional truck driver for Epes Transport System Inc. of Greensboro, N.C., as its latest Highway Angel. On Aug. 8 at about 7 or 8 p.m., Beam was driving on Interstate 40 near Benson, N.C., on his way to Henderson, N.C., to drop a load, when he saw a speeding car strike a vehicle, causing it to flip and careen down an embankment into the woods. He pulled over and approached the accident scene.
There were other motorists present, but they refused to help because the car’s engine was revving, and it seemed like the car might catch on fire. It was dark in the woods, and Beam could not see very well. He finally located the car and saw that the driver was trapped by her seatbelt and hanging halfway out of the window. She was shouting, “My babies! My babies!” Beam pulled her out and immediately turned the engine off.
He then turned his attention to the back seat, where a 6-month old infant and a toddler were dangling upside down from their car seats. The infant appeared to be choking against the car seat’s straps, but accessing the children was difficult because the roof was crushed and the opening between the front and back seats was only about 12 inches.
Beam solved the problem by lying on his back and carefully maneuvering backward until he could free the children. At some point later, Beam realized that he was covered in broken glass. Fortunately, he had not been injured during the rescue. “All I could think was I had to get those babies out of the car,” he says. “I didn’t even consider the possible danger to myself.”