A driver for Revere Transportation of Akron, Ohio, has been recognized for stopping to help after witnessing a vehicle lose control on icy roads and flip multiple times, ejecting the driver and a passenger.
Christopher Lemaire of Erath, Louisiana, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association.
TCA explains what led to his recognition:
On Feb. 11, Lemaire was on his way to New York to deliver a load. At the time, he was northbound on I-35 in Kansas. The air temperature had dropped drastically from 58 degrees that afternoon. By 6 p.m. there was freezing rain, making the roads icy. As he traveled north, he noticed the headlights of a car in a southbound lane, moving left and right.
“I knew he was in trouble,” said Lemaire. “He was skidding out of control.”
The car hit a culvert in the median, sending it airborne. The car hit the ground at an angle, smashing the driver’s side window, and rolling several times. He watched, helplessly, as the driver was ejected. On the last rollover, a second person was ejected.
Lemaire responded immediately, but the time it took to safely slow from highway speeds put him nearly a mile away from the accident. He grabbed his coat and ran back to the accident scene. When he arrived, the driver was standing up and trying to walk. His pants were badly torn and Lemaire could see he likely had a broken leg. He sat him down then rushed over to the passenger.
Another car arrived and Lemaire asked the driver to call 911 and stay with the injured driver. Lemaire tried to calm the second man as he checked him for gashes and broken bones. He stayed at the scene and helped as much as he could and also wrote a statement as a witness to the accident.
“It weighed on me the next day,” said Lemaire. “I wondered if they were going to be okay. Sometimes when people are ejected like that, they suffer internal injuries that can be fatal.”
“Chris has been working with us for quite some time,” said Revere Transportation Fleet Manager Christina Applegate. “He is an exemplary model driver for our company and we feel he was very courageous for the actions he took that night.”
In addition to his background as a highway patrol officer, Lemaire has been a truck driver off and on since he was 21 years old.
For his willingness to assist his fellow drivers, TCA has presented Lemaire with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Revere Transportation has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program.