SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - Stan Clayton has been a truck driver for 35 years, but until this past June he says he's never witnessed a crash happen in front of him.

But when Clayton saw a driver in need of help off the Interstate near Spartanburg a few months back, he didn't hesitate to jump in.

On June 26, Clayton was on his way back to Duncan, SC after finishing up a day of work in Ashville as a truck driver for ABF Freight.

A route he's driven hundreds of times, but for the first time he saw another truck driver crash in front of him.

Clayton immediately got on the brakes, pulled over on an I-85 exit ramp and started to help.

Highway Angel

Stan Clayton was honored as a Highway Angel after helping a fellow truck driver who crashed in June 2020 (Jan. 20, 2021 / FOX Carolina).

"We're all out here, a lot of us drive for different companies, wear different colored uniforms but we're all basically doing the same thing. And to me it's kind of like he's a fellow brother," he said.

The truck had gone off the road and tipped over.

Clayton says when he got to the truck the driver was disoriented, the truck was still running, and the windshield was broken.

Clayton managed to turn the truck off and free the driver from his seatbelt before first responders arrived.

Earlier this month, Clayton was honored as a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association.

Since 1997, nearly 1,300 truck drivers have been recognized by the trade association.

"We're honored to show our appreciation for drivers like Stan because in this situation you know he not only helped and served as a knight of the highway to help his fellow truck driver, but he also put his health and his well-being last that day," explained TCA Senior Director of Outreach and Engagement Marli Hall.

While helping the driver Clayton had an artery in his leg cut, but was still more worried about safely getting his truck back than getting medical attention at first.

"They said I needed to go to the hospital and I was like 'Mam I need to get this truck back here'. It's only 8 miles and I said 'It's only 8 miles' and she said 'I don't care how far it is'. And I said 'I just want to get this truck back because I didn't want to leave it sitting on the side of the road'," he said.

The driver of the other truck escaped with minor injuries according to Clayton.

Stan eventually did go to the hospital that night and says he had 22 stitches in his leg for two weeks.

He adds that he doesn't know who the driver was or what company he worked for, but would like to connect with him at some point if possible.

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved.

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