The Truckload Carriers Association has named Lonnie Willis, a professional truck driver for ABF Freight System, Inc., of Amarillo, Texas, as its latest Highway Angel.
On March 24, 2011, Willis was approaching a busy intersection in downtown Amarillo when an ambulance suddenly approached from behind with its lights flashing and sirens wailing. Willis began to slow down, but apparently the car in front of him did not realize the ambulance was coming.
The ambulance driver, Lisa Howell, who later wrote an e-mail to ABF praising Willis for his quick thinking, stated that the driver of the car was going “too fast.” When the driver finally did grasp the situation, Howell said he “locked his brakes down and stopped too short,” giving Willis very little opportunity to stop his own vehicle without colliding into the car and its four occupants.
Fortunately, Willis was able to continue braking while moving to the left lane to avoid the car. He then returned to the right lane to allow the ambulance to safely pass.
Howell wrote: “I am VERY impressed with your driver. He saved several people’s lives today. As a professional driver [myself], I have seen other professionals not function as well. Please tell [him] thank you for saving my life as well as others!”