The Truckload Carriers Association has named a driver team from the Yanke Group of Companies in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as its latest Highway Angels. Laurent Pennacchio and Olegas Milevskis, both of Regina, Saskatchewan, are being recognized for helping a young family involved in an accident with a large animal in the road – a moose.
It was the early morning of June 29, and Pennacchio was at the wheel, traveling on Highway 17 in northern Ontario; Milevskis was asleep. After coming around a sharp curve in the road, Pennacchio saw a vehicle that had just been involved in a serious accident; a woman and two children were standing nearby.
Pennacchio pulled over and woke Milevskis up. The men gathered safety jackets and flashlights and then approached the vehicle. They were astounded to see a large moose lying on the ground – it had just collided with the car. The father, who had been driving, seemed injured and was not moving; he was still inside the vehicle. The mother was using her cell phone and was attempting to describe the location of the accident to a 911 operator, but her unfamiliarity with the remote area made this difficult.
Pennacchio provided the details so that emergency personnel could find the scene quickly. Then, the drivers comforted the woman and asked her permission to take the two children out of the cold and into their warm truck. Pennacchio stayed with the kids while Milevskis assisted with traffic control and waited with the woman. Both men stayed on the scene until the accident site was secured by police.
Later, a constable of the Ontario Provincial Police wrote to Yanke praising the men. “I would like to thank your drivers [for] their assistance at the scene,” he wrote. “In this isolated section of highway ¬– and certainly after dark – few people are willing to assist people in need. Cell phone service is spotty, which delays the response time of emergency crews, so any initial help is important.”
For their efforts that morning, Pennacchio and Milevskis received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. The Yanke Group of Companies also received a certificate acknowledging that two of its drivers are Highway Angels. The program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop.