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Monday, February 1, 2016

Motorists pull trucker back from the brink

Matt Collins has been driving trucks for 20 years, but his career almost ended when snow blanketed the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Breezewood exit on Friday, January 29. The pavement was icy and two cars in front of his big rig spun out of control, so he hit the brakes. His load, 37 thousand pounds of chocolate, slid off the side the the highway, taking out 30 feet of guardrail. Then it stopped, with the cab hanging dangerously over a steep hillside. A tree branch blocked the door, and he could smell leaking diesel fuel when suddenly someone outside removed the branch, opened his door and pulled him to safety.


Another trucker, Arlyn Satanek, snapped this picture of fellow motorists who saw Collins' plight and quickly formed a human chain for traction so no one else would slip into danger as he was pulled from the cab. Santanek told WTAE News, "It was like everyone knew in that moment, we have to reach him. Let's lock into this and get this guy up." Afterward, everyone headed back to their vehicles before Collins could even thank them for their "proper road etiquette."

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