The HGV drivers that make up the transport industry's massive workforce are known to be a staunch and solid group. These hardworking men and women are an integral cog in the UK's economical wheel, keeping the country moving in more ways than one. In fact, a recent story of heroism on the busy A47 motorway involves a lorry driver who not only showed great presence of mind, but also had the courage and heart to follow through – saving not just one life, but potentially many.
Quick Thinking On The A47
Russell Dagless, an experienced lorry driver, was heading along the A47 in his truck when he noticed a white van just ahead of him begin to swerve in an erratic manner. When it began bouncing against the central barrier and was apparently out of control, Mr. Dagless became acutely aware that something was very wrong. As he drew beside the van on the outside lane, he observed the driver slumped over the wheel, apparently unconscious.
Despite the fact that the van was still travelling at a rapid pace, the lorry driver was able to manoeuvre his HGV and position it to block its path and gradually bring it to a halt. His quick, on-the-spot thinking and subsequent actions averted what would undoubtedly have been a life-threatening incident.
Right Place, Right Time
Once the van was stationary, Mr. Dagless and another passing motorist, who just happened to be an off-duty paramedic, rushed to attend to the unconscious van driver and remove him from the vehicle. Within a few minutes, another off-duty paramedic and a fireman joined the first responders and, as the truck driver said, "they obviously knew more first aid than myself, so at that point I stood back." With suspected bleeding on the brain, the van driver was given roadside first aid until an ambulance arrived on the scene.
A Humble Hero
The lorry driver has been hailed a hero for his responsive actions, averting an accident that had the potential to be extremely serious. Despite claiming that he only acted on instinct and did what anyone else in his position would have done, Mr. Dagless received high praise from his workmates and witnesses. In fact, the Royal Human Society has endowed him with one of its highest honours: the Testimonial on Vellum award, which recognises the actions of one who puts the life of another before their own.
Mr. Dagless, who works for a Norwich plant and machinery hire company, said he was surprised by the prestige of the honour, having thought that he might receive simply a certificate or a phone call. But the secretary of the Royal Human Society, Dick Wilkinson, said that the award was very well-deserved. He observed that the lorry driver had shown courage and resourcefulness and that – thanks to his quick actions – no one was hurt in an incident that could so easily have resulted in carnage.
Amongst the many stories of high fuel prices, road closures and spin-offs of Brexit, it's wonderful to come across such a good news tale that pays credit to our normally unsung haulage heroes.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage loads with an available lorry driver in the right area. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.