A Rhode Island trucker was recently honored for his response when a motorist struck the back of hs truck earlier this year.
The Truckload Carriers Association named Robert “Rocket” Miceli from Cranston, Rhode Island, a Highway Angel for rescuing a woman who crashed into his truck and severed an artery. Miceli drives for Galway Bay Transport in Arundel, Maine.
On April 23, around 11 a.m., Miceli was traveling through Natrona, Wyoming, during white-out snow conditions. He encountered 50 mph wind gusts while driving and visibility was extremely low.
“My biggest fear was someone crashing into the back (of my truck),” he said. “It’s always been my biggest fear and I’ve always told other drivers, especially new ones, sometimes slow is just as dangerous as fast; be aware of your surroundings.”
Unfortunately, in the difficult driving conditions, a woman crashed into the back of Miceli’s truck. “I immediately get the truck stopped, jump out, hit 911, except I don’t have a signal,” he recalled. “So I rip the door open and the first thing I saw was her right hand – she had literally ripped the steering wheel off when she hit and it split her hand between the thumb and forefinger. It was nothing but bone.”
Miceli immediately pulled off his shirt, wrapping the gash to stop the bleeding. He said it took nearly 30 minutes for emergency response personnel to arrive, so he ran back to his cab to retrieve blankets and water. He was glad to see other passersby stop to help as well.
The injured driver was taken to a hospital in Casper, Wyoming. A Wyoming Trooper assisted at the scene and thanked Miceli for his aid. “He said, ‘You saved that woman’s life,’” said Miceli. “He told me the ambulance crew said she had cut her artery – she’d have bled out.”
The day after the accident, Miceli visited the driver in the hospital, meeting her family as well. “I got to hug her, and we cried, and it was really good stuff,” he said.
TCA has presented him with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. The company has also received a letter acknowledging him 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.