Latest Highway Angel honored for heroics in flooding rescue

ALEXANDRIA, VA — A New York driver has been honored as a Highway Angel for risking his life and creating a makeshift flotation device to save a fellow driver stuck in rising floodwater near Houston.

The accolade from the U.S. Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is based on a rescue from April 18, when Daniel Sieczkarski, of Rochester, New York, a driver for Melton Truck Lines, noticed a tractor trailer parked sideways in floodwater near a bridge with the driver still behind the wheel.

“I had never seen flooding before so I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got closer,” Sieczkarski told TCA.

Sieczkarski borrowed a life vest and tubing from a motorist that had also stopped to help. Together they tied the tubing to the vest and set it down for the driver to use himself. After 15 minutes of talking with the driver, who was hesitant to leave his tractor trailer and his belongings, Sieczkarski knew he had to take matters into his own hands. Sieczkarski put the life vest on himself and swam to the stranded driver’s truck. When he opened the cab door, the driver could see how quickly the water was rising and was convinced to leave his truck and together they swam to safety. The motorists lent support by keeping hold of the tubing to help in the rescue.

An hour later, Sieczkarski heard over the radio that the stranded tractor trailer was fully submerged under water.

When asked about what made him risk his own life for a stranger, Sieczkarski said, “I lost my wife three years ago and I didn’t know if that driver had a wife and family. But if he did, I didn’t want his family to go through what I had gone through.”

[Source:-Todays Trucking]