Justin Haywood, a truck driver from Durham, North Carolina, has been dubbed a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) for his heroic intervention in rescuing another trucker pinned down inside their vehicle after an unfortunate two-truck collision. Hailing from Charlotte and employed by Ward Trucking LLC., Justin exemplifies what it truly means to be an angel on the highway.
In the early morning hours of December 16, 2022, Haywood faced a shocking scene while traveling on I-95 near Emporia. He noticed two tractor trailers had been involved in an accident and no one was to be found. As it turned out, the first truck blew a steer tire, which pulled him into the median and made his truck bounce into the guard rail.
“I saw the second truck hit the back of his trailer,” said Haywood. The crash knocked the first trailer into oncoming traffic.
Haywood immediately pulled to the side of the road and called the authorities. He then sprung into action to help the drivers.
“We got out and helped the first driver out of his truck,” he said. “We broke his window out and got him out of his window; he was okay.”
Haywood then ran to the other truck, which sustained severe damage.
“His cab looked like somebody dropped a bomb on his tractor,” he said. “It was just splintered — you couldn’t tell where the actual tractor was.”
Fearing the worst, the two men called out to the trapped trucker and to their surprise and relief, they heard a faint voice respond from within the wreckage.
“Somehow that guy survived,” Haywood said, adding that the man had been knocked into the floor and the dashboard curved back on him and pinned him to the floor.
“I held his hand until the fire department got there,” he said. “I didn’t know if that was going to be his last moment; I didn’t want him to be alone.”
Emergency personnel descended upon the crash scene, and Haywood was glad to have been of assistance. His quick thinking and courageous spirit were instrumental in navigating through a difficult situation that night.
“If that was me, I would hope somebody helps me,” he said.