Trucker steps in to help after wrong-way accident

Updated Sep 8, 2019
Joseph Wilbur (Image Courtesy of TCA)Joseph Wilbur (Image Courtesy of TCA)

ABF Freight Systems, Inc. driver Joseph Wilbur of Fort Smith, Arkansas, is being recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association as a Highway Angel for assisting at the scene of an accident caused by a wrong-way driver.

Wilbur, who is usually a utility driver but was filling in for someone that night, had left New Haven, Connecticut on I-95 northbound around 3 a.m. when he saw a wrong-way driver in the left lane driving north, against traffic. Wilbur called 911 and was connected to Connecticut State Police, and he kept pace with the wrong-way driver and reported mile markers and exits to the dispatcher.

Southbound drivers were trying to avoid a collision but Wilbur said the wrong-way driver never slowed down or swerved. The wrong-way driver plowed into another vehicle head-on, spinning it to the side and causing the wrong-way driver to roll multiple times before landing on its roof. Wilbur and a lone EMT who arrived on scene first pulled the then unconscious wrong-way driver out of his mangled vehicle. Wilbur stayed on scene until more first responders arrived and took over the scene.

TCA presented Wilbur with a Highway Angel certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals.