Many times, when people spot something odd on the side of the road or in a passing vehicle, they will assume the driver has the situation under control and keep going. Fortunately for one lucky motorist, professional truck driver David Flaherty does not think that way. Flaherty, who lives in Walkertown, North Carolina, and drives for ABF Freight System of Fort Smith, Arkansas, has just been named TCA’s latest Highway Angel. On November 10, 2013, Flaherty was driving along I-85 near Concord, NC at about 11 p.m., when he saw an intermittent flash of orange light ahead in the darkness. He eventually caught up to the vehicle – another tractor-trailer hauling doubles – and realized that the flickers were actually embers of heated metal falling from an area near one of the inside rear tires. The other truck driver had no idea that there was a problem. It took Flaherty about 10 minutes of honking and flashing his lights to get the man to pull over and stop. Together, Flaherty and the other driver used both of their trucks’ fire extinguishers to smother the embers. When that was not enough, they poured whatever drinks they had in their vehicles on the hot spot. By the time the fire department arrived, the smoldering was finished, but just then, the tire blew! If it weren’t for Flaherty’s alertness and willingness to go out of his way to stop the man, it is likely that the trailer would have caught on fire and destroyed the load inside. “It’s amazing how quickly a tire fire can burn a truck to the ground. They generate a ton of heat,” said Flaherty. In recognition of his efforts, TCA has presented Flaherty with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. The organization also gave ABF Freight System a certificate acknowledging that it has a Highway Angel in its midst. To nominate a driver or learn more about the program and its honorees, visit the Highway Angel web page at www.truckload.org/Highway-Angel or contact TCA at (703) 838-1950.
Daniel J. Linss has been with 10-4 Magazine since the beginning in September of 1993 and has been the Editor and Art Director since March of 1994. Over the years, he has also become an owner and one of the main photographers for 10-4 and is well-known for his insightful cover feature articles and honest show reports. Married for over 30 years with three grown children, Daniel produces 10-4 Magazine each and every month from his office in Central California.