Mark Olsen and Brad Wenneberg: Highway Heroes

On 9 June 2013, Mark Olsen of Clinton, Utah, and Brad Wenneberg of Smithfield, Utah, both of whom are professional truck drivers for L.W. Miller Transportation, Inc., of Logan, Utah, helped an elderly couple whose motor home had caught on fire on I-15, approximately two miles from the border of Nevada and Arizona. Mr. Olsen first spotted the burning RV, which was pulled over on the side of the interstate. The elderly couple had safely exited the burning vehicle. Mr. Olsen radioed Mr. Wenneberg, who was driving a truck behind him, and the two men stopped and attempted to use their fire extinguishers to put out the fire. Unfortunately, the fire kept on burning after the fire extinguishers had been exhausted. The two men then moved a pickup truck that the RV was towing away from the fire. Because the flames were growing so hot and the RV’s tires were exploding, they decided to stop vehicles and keep them from passing the burning RV. An impatient motorist attempted to drive past the burning RV, but they stopped the motorist just before a propane tank exploded in a giant fireball that went across the interstate and set the median on fire. Afterward, the elderly couple sent an email to L.W. Miller Transportation in which they called Mr. Olsen and Mr. Wenneberg “true American heroes.” Mr. Olsen said, “That’s my nature [to help]. It was pretty scary, but whether driving a truck or driving a car, I will stop and help someone if they need it. We did what we could for [the couple] … at least we managed to save their pickup. That’s something.” Mr. Wenneberg said, “We pushed [the pickup] uphill in 100-degree heat with flames all around us, burning us. And when the propane tank blew, it shot the biggest flame I’ve ever seen come out of an RV. It went clear across the median and caught it on fire. The whole vehicle burned to the ground. I felt so bad for [the couple].” In September 2014, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) named Mr. Olsen and Mr. Wenneberg Highway Angels. The L.W. Miller Transportation representative who nominated Olsen and Wenneberg as Highway Angels said, “We are very impressed with the consideration and quick thinking by our two professional drivers. Under pressure and extreme heat, they were able to think quickly and salvage a pickup that would have otherwise been lost in the fire. They also most likely saved the couple from harm and possibly [saved] other passing motorists.”

For More Information: “Truckers named TCA Highway Angels after battling a motor home fire.” The Trucker News Services. 12 September 2014

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