MAKING A DIFFERENCE ON THE ROAD
When people think of heroes, they often think of larger-than-life figures, world leaders, or famous celebrities that they would never get to meet. However, sometimes heroes are just ordinary people who make courageous decisions in extraordinary situations. That is exactly what our drivers did.
On Wednesday, March 29, at about 5:30 PM, Mark Briggs was westbound on highway 17, approximately 50 kilometres east of Terrace Bay, Ontario. The severe weather that night made Mark’s job even more challenging. It was sleeting so heavily he could barely see. To Mark, it was just another day in his regular job. Little did he know, he was about to save a life.
Mark was traveling in a group of six trucks going uphill at roughly 70 kilometres per hour. As the first truck reached the top of the hill, Mark noticed its brake lights and hazards were on. The fleet slowed down and the second truck – a cement truck – pulled over to the shoulder while the first and third truck kept going. Mark sensed that something was not right and could not help but stop and investigate.
As he slowed down to see what was going on, he saw a hand waving through a windshield. As Mark approached a pickup truck, he saw a woman trapped inside. She was yelling to him that there was smoke coming into the truck cab; and she was terrified. Instantly, Mark climbed up the truck and as soon as he managed to open the door, thick smoke started pouring out. The lady was not alone; there was an 8-year-old girl with her. Without missing a beat, Mark managed to rescue both of them out of the vehicle.
The woman was so grateful that she gave Mark a big hug. She thanked him for being there every step of the way and helping her stay calm so that they could get out of the wreckage. The firefighter, the cement truck driver and Mark shook hands and thanked each other as well. They all returned to their vehicles and proceeded down the highway.
“This pretty much sums up my day,” Mark told the police, “My adrenaline was running pretty high for quite a while after the rescue.”
On March 30, 2019, Patricia Russell – driver 547 – was on her way home from Mississauga to North Bay. At around 1:00 AM going through Novar on highway 11, she noticed a pickup truck on the side of the highway with its box content on fire. She quickly pulled over and called 911 to report a truck fire. Then she grabbed her fire extinguisher and tried to contain the fire until the fire department arrived.
When the fire department arrived, she offered her truck to the occupant of the pickup for warmth until everything was under control. The O.P.P. thanked her for her quick thinking and her help on scene. Due to Patricia’s heroic acts, an accident was mitigated and a driver’s safety was ensured.
For their bravery and heroic acts, Mark Briggs and Patricia Russell have been presented with the SupERB Award and we could not be more proud to have such remarkable individuals as part of our family.