A company driver for Midwest Express has been honored for using skills she learned in the military to help at the scene of a truck fire in Tennessee earlier this year.
The Truckload Carriers Association recently named truck driver Cindy Bliss, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a Highway Angel for springing into action when a truck traveling in front of her blew a tire causing a fire to erupt. Bliss drives for Midwest Express Corporation in Lenexa, Kansas.
On May 1 around 11 a.m., she was driving in Nashville, when she witnessed the rear truck tires smoking on the 18-wheeler traveling in front of her.
“I saw the smoke,” Bliss said. “I threw on my emergency flashers to keep people back.”
She added that another vehicle also noticed the smoke and was able to motion to the truck driver to pull over.
Moments later, Bliss safely pulled to the shoulder as well. In that moment, she said that she credits her military training for her actions. As an Army mechanic, Bliss knew the important steps to take in this situation.
Without hesitation, Bliss grabbed her fire extinguisher and ran to the truck to help defuse the fire. Unfortunately, both Bliss and the others were unable to put out the fire, so she called 911, while instructing the truck driver to disconnect his truck from his trailer for safety.
In the end, it saved his load; the cargo was not damaged, only the trailer exterior burned.
Bliss said, “It’s the way my parents raised me,” explaining why she stopped to help. “My mom said it’s just in my nature.”
TCA presented her with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. The company has also received a letter acknowledging her as a Highway Angel.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.