David Ragland, a driver with Kelle’s Transport of West Valley City, Utah, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). Ragland, who resides in Cotopaxi, Colorado, is being recognized for his role in helping two young children survive a horrific accident. On August 11, 2013, Ragland was driving westbound on I-40 near Jackson, Tennessee when he saw an eastbound car swerve off the road and veer into the trees. Stopping immediately, he crossed the interstate to discover that the smoking car was folded in half and upside down, and there were cries coming from inside the wreckage. The car was smoldering, and soon visible flames began to appear. After getting a fire extinguisher from his truck, he began to spray the flames. Meanwhile, another man began using a pocket knife to cut a path through the interior of the car toward the back seat, where the crying seemed loudest. Eventually, the other man was able to pull a baby out. Later, Ragland was thrilled to learn that a second child had survived and had been extracted by the first responders, although, tragically, both parents and an 8-year-old sister had perished. Ragland, a veteran of the U.S. Army who has been a professional truck driver for three years, kept quiet about what happened until about a year later, when his company offered a $100 prize for a Good Samaritan contest. When his story was chosen as the winner, Ragland decided to donate the money he won to the surviving children, adding more from his own pocket. Before long, other people at Kelle’s Transport began making donations – until the amount grew to $5,000 ($2,500 per child). Ragland said, “People talk about heroes, but we have a responsibility to stop. It’s not a choice. The crash happened right in front of me. I just wish we could have done more.” To nominate a driver or learn more about the program and its honorees, visit www.truckload.org/Highway-Angel or contact the 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.