‘Highway Angel’ Title Given to Texas Truck Driver


Jonathan Buscher

Gary Wilburn, a Texas trucker, was recently named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for an influential experience on October 4, 2022. As Wilburn was driving in heavy traffic near Forrest City, Arkansas, he noticed a State Trooper’s car that had crashed off the road. From San Antonio, Texas, and driving for Anderson Trucking, the trucker said that he had only been driving for about an hour before he came across the crash. Wilburn said that, “Some of the stuff I noticed was insane—no one’s calling the police, cars are driving by, and no one stopped to help him,” as most cars drove by without even looking in the wreck. 

After stopping near the crashed officer, Wilburn called 911 and stayed with the State Trooper until help arrived. According to Wilburn, the officer was banged up badly, as both his lower and upper legs were broken as he was pinned in the car, nearly crushed. Once help arrived, the State Trooper was airlifted to a nearby hospital by emergency first responders. 

This bravery and social dedication, Wilburn says, is more of a testament to his character, as he has stated, “I’m that idiot that runs into burning buildings and pulls out pets. When I see something like that, I can’t keep going on about my day.” The good news is, Gary Wilburn isn’t the only person with this type of personality. Since 1997, when the Highway Angels program started, around 1,300 truck drivers have been honored for the initiative’s core values: exemplary courage, kindness, and courtesy.