Brian Snell, a professional truck driver for Pottle’s Transportation of Hermon, Maine, has been named the 2018 Highway Angel of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner EpicVue. Snell was recognized during Tuesday’s general session at TCA’s 81st Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
On June 8, 2018 at 2:15 a.m., the Snell was driving along I-495 in Westward, Massachusetts when he noticed up ahead, a motorist heading the wrong way. Trying to process what was happening, Snell then watched as the car spun around directly in front of his truck, coming to a stop. Without a moment to spare, he immediately jumped into action. The professional truck driver safely came to a stop in the middle of the road, blocking the car as he couldn’t see her headlights. Acting quickly, the driver jumped out of his cab and quickly assessed the situation as other motorists had stopped to help. The professional truck driver discovered the motorist, a woman, was unconscious behind the wheel and the front of the car was unrecognizable.
As a long-time paramedic, Snell attempted to resuscitate the woman, but suddenly, something just didn’t feel right… the car’s engine was on fire! Without a moment to spare, he ran back to his truck, grabbed a fire extinguisher and began to put out the flames. Snell then heard someone yelling that they couldn’t get into the vehicle, and that’s when he realized that the female motorist had hit another car head on before coming to a stop.
Acting swiftly, Snell ran over to a mangled vehicle, which was located on the shoulder of the freeway, to check the driver’s pulse and vitals. Sadly the 32-year old male driver of the second vehicle had succumbed to his injuries. What felt like hours later, emergency personnel finally arrived. Snell stayed on-site to help remove the doors to the female motorist’s crushed car as she drifted in and out of consciousness.
As the paramedics left the scene, rushing the female to the hospital, Snell went back to the deceased man’s car to discover there was a dog inside! Snell stayed at the accident scene to help extract the man from his vehicle and to load the inoperable cars on a tow truck. Since the incident, the dog has been reunited with the man’s family.
This is not Snell’s first time completing a heroic deed. After exiting the Marine Corps in 1992, he worked for many years as a paramedic and was a rescue worker on September 11, 2001 at Ground Zero. Unfortunately, after assisting with those recoveries, Snell lost a lung and could no longer serve in law enforcement. As he still felt the urge to help others, Snell started a volunteer fire department and a career in the trucking industry.
“Brian is passionate about what he does. He’s humble and an overall brilliant example of what this program aims to highlight,” said TCA Highway Angel Spokesperson and Nashville Recording Artist Lindsay Lawler during the presentation.
“Thank you for your many selfless acts of courage,” said EpicVue CEO Lance Platt after presenting Snell with a crystal award. “We thank you not only for assisting in the wee hours of the morning on June 8, but also for your service to our country.”
The Highway Angel program, now in its 22nd year, recognizes professional truck drivers who have selflessly helped others while on the job. From each year’s Angels, one is selected as Highway Angel of the Year because he or she best embodies the spirit of the program.
Also during the award ceremony, Platt awarded Snell a complimentary EpicVue satellite TV package that includes a 24-inch flat screen TV, a DVR, and a one-year subscription to over 100 channels of DIRECTV programming, including premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and the NFL Sunday Ticket. Lawler, accompanied by Chris Roberts, and performed her song “Highway Angel.”