Trucking Life: People
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Trucker Hero Named Highway Angel

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Marcus Beam, a professional truck driver with Epes Transport System, Inc., was driving on I-40 near Nenson, NC, on his way to drop off a load when he watched a speeding car nail another vehicle, causing it to flip and careen down an embankment into the woods.

As Beam pulled over and approached the scene, he saw other motorists had gathered, all refusing to help because the car's engine was revving.

Beam made his way through the darkness and trees to the vehicle where he saw the driver half-hanging out of the window, trapped by her seatbelt. "My babies, my babies," she was shouting.

Beam pulled her out, turned the engine off and then looked to the backseat where a 6-month old infant and a toddler were dangling upside down from their car seats.

Getting to the children was difficult. The roof had been crushed and the opening between the front and back seats was only about 12 inches, and the infant looked to be choking against the car seat's straps.

Beam lay on his back, shimmed his way backward, and rescued the children.

"All I could think was I had to get those babies out of the car," Beam said, only realizing later that he was covered in broken glass. "I didn't even consider the possible danger to myself."

For that brave, selfless act, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has selected Beam as the 2011 Highway Angel of the Year. The award, sponsored by Internet Truckstop, will be given to Beam at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 17 at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

“The management team at Epes Transport System is very proud of Marcus on being recognized as Highway Angel of the Year. Marcus does a great job every day and fortunately was able to help out a motorist and her children in a great time of need,” said Britt Colley, president and COO for the company.

“I am always impressed when I hear stories like Beam’s… what a good samaritan! Said Gary Salisbury, TCA’s chairman and president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line of Hope, AR, said. "I’m even more astounded that people stood around and watched him take action. It will be an honor to present him with the Highway Angel of the Year award next month.”

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angel program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. You can read more stories about Highway Angels here.

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