Dennis Cornwall, a driver for Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) member C R England, has been named a Highway Angel for rescuing three people involved in a serious accident. The Highway Angels program is co-sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America and Petro Stopping Centers.
Driving a rig on Interstate 80 through Wyoming through heavy rain and hail one afternoon, Cornwall spotted a car that had gone down a 10- to 15-foot embankment. Although cars were slowing down to look, no one stopped except Cornwall.
“I parked my truck and ran down there, and there was this woman. She was screaming and hollering in Spanish, ‘My brother, my brother,’” he said. The woman had lost control of the car, which spun around and hit a telephone pole.
He ran to the passenger side and found an elderly man in the back seat. Another older woman was near the vehicle, screaming in Spanish and wringing her hands. Cornwall knew enough Spanish to communicate that an ambulance was on its way and to calm down.
He took his pocket knife and cut the elderly man's pants leg open to get to his wound. Cornwall then ran to his truck, grabbed a bungee cord and raincoat, returned and wrapped the cord around the man's leg.
Next he tended to the women, giving one his blanket and the other his favorite jacket. It took at least 45 minutes for the police and paramedics to arrive. Before leaving, Cornwall waited in his truck until they placed the man in the ambulance.
About two months later, he discovered that the man's grandson had written a letter to C R England, expressing the family's gratitude for Cornwall's help. “When Cornwall's ‘big red truck’ arrived, the family called it ‘a chariot sent from heaven’ and Cornwall an ‘angel,’” the boy wrote, adding, “Grandfather said that, for an angel, he didn't speak very good Spanish.”
Cornwall received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts. C R England also received a certificate for acknowledging a Highway Angel in their midst.