A trucker has been awarded a TCA Highway Angels title after his quick thinking kept an SUV full of teenagers on a mission trip out of danger. And he did so immediately after their vehicle struck his truck.
It was May 23rd and Melton Truck Lines driver Justin Rockcastle was driving on I-70 near Thompson Springs, Utah. It was near freezing and the weather was a nasty mix of rain and hail.
From behind him, Rockcastle saw a white SUV coming up on his left side. Before it could pass him, the SUV started hydroplaning. It slammed into the truck’s drive tires, bounced up and back, did a 180-degree turn, and was thrown into the center median ditch where it rolled multiple times before coming to a stop.
Rockcastle was able to maintain control of his truck, pulled it over, and ran to help the people in the SUV.
When he got there, he saw that all of the doors had been ripped off of the SUV and the contents of the vehicle were strewn everywhere on the road and in the median by the force of the roll. Everyone in the vehicle had been wearing their seatbelts. Miraculously, only the driver was injured; the passengers were unharmed.
Rockcastle ran back to his truck and got a first-aid kit and a coat. He gave his coat to one of the boys and gave the first-aid kit to another boy who tended to the driver’s head wound. He also talked to them, keeping them calm, and learned that the SUV was one of four vehicles driving from Texas to California for a mission trip. All of the people in the crashed SUV were minors.
Rockcastle also noticed that the tires on the SUV were almost completely bald.
“They should never have been on the road,” he said according to the Truckload Carriers Association. “Safety is a major thing with me. There weren’t any adults along and those kids didn’t have enough experience. Prayers were definitely answered that day.”