In recognition of the heroism of one longtime truck driver, Great Dane and Hendrickson presented a new Great Dane Champion trailer to Vic Benson, who assisted a motorist at the scene of a serious highway wreck.
“We’re honored to present this on behalf of Great Dane and Hendrickson,” said Jeff Weber, director of corporate field sales at Great Dane. “Thank you for your bravery. We appreciate what you do. The industry wouldn’t be what it is without people like you.”
In his 44 years of driving a tractor-trailer, Benson has logged more than 4 million accident-free miles. But what he saw this spring on Interstate 40 in Knoxville, Tennessee, put his experience to the test.
Just inches from his rig, a driver crossed the median and crashed into the car of a 22-year-old University of Tennessee senior who had just finished class. The impact smashed her car and broke most of the bones on the left side of her body.
Benson leapt into action, blocking the highway behind the wreck and staying with the student as he calmed her and used her cellphone to notify her family. He stayed with her for more than an hour before emergency responders were able to extract the woman from the severely damaged vehicle.
A longtime driver with dreams of starting his own trucking company, Benson’s heroism did not go unnoticed by the trucking industry. After hearing about the heroic act, he was welcomed to Great Dane’s corporate offices in Savannah, Georgia, where Great Dane and Hendrickson leaders presented the Champion trailer to Benson and his wife.
“This is actually amazing. Words can’t explain it,” Benson said as he inspected the new trailer. “It just makes me feel good that I could be there to help and that everyone thankfully survived.”
Benson has plans to strike out on his own this fall as owner of Twin Flames trucking company. He and his wife, Angie, plan to pick up their first load in September as owner-operators under their own banner.
Company officials presented the couple with the flagship trailer: a 2023 CS1, fully-loaded with FleetPulse Pro telematics, Hendrickson Ultraa-K with Tiremaxx Pro, and 16-inch logistics. The new trailer was manufactured at the Great Dane plant in Brazil, Indiana.
With his new equipment in tow, the road is wide open with possibilities as Benson launches his new trucking company and fulfills a lifelong dream. It’s thanks to his quick thinking and compassion, that everyone in the life-changing wreck is still here today.“
You don't find a lot of people like that who will actually get involved,” said Jeff Miller, senior account manager for Hendrickson. “It just shows that there still are great humanitarians out there that will help people in need.”