In the early morning hours of May 16, 2016, Aleman was parked at a truck stop in Pageland, South Carolina. He was in his truck getting ready to eat dinner when he heard a loud noise.
“At first I thought it was an explosion but I knew something bad had happened,” said Aleman.
He jumped out of his truck and saw that two tractor-trailers had collided while pulling out of the truck stop, and he ran to the scene to help.
“I have previous experience as a law enforcement officer and was running on instinct,” Aleman stated.
When he arrived at the scene he found one tractor-trailer wedged beneath the other trailer. Aleman went to cab of the lower truck and yelled for the driver, who was slow to respond.
“The driver said he was fine, but I knew from past experience that was most likely shock talking,” said Aleman. He crawled into the cab to help the driver out and saw a diesel tank leaking behind the driver’s head and the engine sitting nearly in the passenger seat. Smoke was pouring into the cab from the leaking fluids, making it difficult for the men to breathe. Aleman broke out the back window and pulled the driver to safety.
The TCA said the freed driver was lucky to escape with only scrapes and soreness.
“I’ve always had a passion for big trucks and I decided I’d rather drive than be a police officer,” said Aleman, who has been driving for five years. This is the first time Aleman has had to help with an accident as a professional truck driver, and now talks with the driver he saved almost weekly.
For his willingness to help, TCA has presented Aleman with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. CFI has also received a certificate acknowledging Jeff Aleman as a Highway Angel.
EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program. 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 shown others while on the job.