A professional driver for an Arkansas carrier has been honored for helping a mother and child at an accident scene earlier this month.
The Truckload Carriers Association named truck driver Thomas Itczak, from Aurora, Colorado, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a woman and her baby when she lost control of her vehicle and ran off the road. Itczak drives for ABF Freight out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
On Feb. 7 around 1:20 p.m., Itczak was driving westbound through Grainfield, Kansas when he witnessed a vehicle, heading eastbound on the four-lane highway, leave the roadway, and cross the median at a high rate of speed. The car then became airborne as it crossed the westbound lanes, past the road’s shoulder, into the grass.
“It happened right in front of me — I thought somebody had a heart attack or something,” Itczak said.
He pulled over and ran to the crashed vehicle, which was damaged from the accident. The wheels were turned and bent, and the bumper was cracked.
“It was a young mother and a baby,” he said. “She lost control because the baby was crying — she turned around to comfort the baby.”
Itczak got the baby out of her car seat and made sure the shaken and emotional mother could get out of the vehicle. He consoled her and together, they waited for police to arrive on the scene.
“There’s no way I could’ve just kept going,” Itczak said. “I had to stop to make sure the driver wasn’t incapacitated and call 911.”