MTC today adopted a resolution of appreciation for Freeway Service Patrol tow truck drivers Darryl Poe and Moises Reyes, and for Waste Management of Alameda County driver David Garcia; honoring the men for the quick response, calm under pressure, and selfless dedication to the safety of others they demonstrated when they teamed to save the life of a young motorist who was injured in an October 26 accident along Interstate 880 in Oakland.
Mr. Poe, who works for FSP contractor Palace Garage, was patrolling FSP Beat 4 along northbound Interstate 880 shortly after 6 a.m. that Wednesday morning, when he responded to a report of an accident near the Hegenberger Road exit in Oakland and spotted a white Mini Cooper that had left the roadway, knocked over a sign, and then collided with a concrete wall before coming to a rest against a tree.
Mr. Poe pulled off the freeway to investigate, discovering that the car’s driver was trapped inside the vehicle and that a fire had started in the car’s engine compartment. He radioed fellow FSP Beat 4 driver and Palace Garage co-worker Moises Reyes for assistance, and then quickly grabbed his on-board fire extinguisher to begin suppressing the flames.
Mr. Reyes arrived on the scene within moments; as did Mr. Garcia, who was driving a Waste Management truck. The three men joined forces fight the fire as best they could and to extricate the young woman who had been driving the Mini Cooper, with Mr. Garcia using a knife to cut the vehicle’s seat belt. They succeeded in freeing the injured driver just seconds before both the vehicle and the tree were fully consumed by flames. The young woman was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with serious-but-survivable injuries; and Mr. Poe, Mr. Reyes and Mr. Garcia all promptly returned to their duties.
San Leandro-based Palace Garage is one of 13 tow truck operators with whom MTC contracts to constitute the Bay Area’s Freeway Service Patrol. All told, the Bay Area’s FSP fleet includes 71 tow trucks that patrol 31 separate beats covering 470 miles of freeways and highways throughout the nine-county region. The heroic actions of Mr. Poe, Mr. Reyes and Mr. Garcia are recognized through MTC Resolution No. 4251, which was adopted unanimously by the Commission. All three men were present to receive framed copies of the resolution from MTC Chair and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.