Aiken truck driver honored for heroism after crash

Aiken truck driver Richard Wade’s heroism earned him an industry honor.
Aiken truck driver Richard Wade’s heroism earned him an industry honor.(Contributed)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A truck driver from Aiken recently rescued a man whose motorcycle crashed and went down a 100-foot ravine.

Truck driver Richard Wade’s heroism earned him an industry honor.

Around 1:30 p.m. May 21, he was traveling north on Interstate 81 near New Market, Va., when he noticed a group of Christian Bikers riding together. After they passed Wade, he saw the bike in the back was having mechanical problems.

“The whole front end just gave way and it pulled him into the guardrail on the left hand side of the road,” Wade said. “Its tire just folded indeed, and the bike flipped – it threw him over the rail and down into the gorge.”

Wade had a long career in law enforcement and fire services and as a medic in an ambulance.

His training instantly kicked in.

“I just did what I knew how to do,” he said.

He stopped his truck, called 911 and scrambled down the embankment to offer aid.

“When I saw it happen, I feared the worst for the guy, but I also knew I could help him,” Wade said.

Wade told the 911 operator what had happened.

“His head was facing down the hill with his legs up toward the hill and his left leg was completely torn back,” Wade said, adding that the motorcyclist’s left leg “was twisted like a corkscrew” and he was bleeding out.

Others stopped to help as Wade led the effort, creating a tourniquet and keeping the crash victim talking.

“I just threw all caution to the wind,” Wade said. “It’s in my nature to run toward a fire.”

He stayed with the rider, helping him stay awake while waiting for emergency medical crews to arrive.

For Wade’s efforts, he was named a “Highway Angel” by the Truckload Carriers Association. He’s among nearly 1,300 truckers recognized by the program since 1997 for exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage displayed while on the job.

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