Fort Smith Trucker Saves Woman’s Life in Deadly Accident

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A Fort Smith truck driver saves a woman's life after her pickup is involved in a deadly accident on Interstate 40 near Memphis.

Barb Kleinwachter says she and her husband were driving to an antique show in Tennessee January 30 when the accident happened. It killed her husband of 44 years on impact. It was a scene trucker Robbie Duncan says he'll never forget.

"I've driven trucks for almost 20 years, and I've seen many of deadly accidents on the highway and I've even helped a lot of accidents on the highway, but I've never seen anybody quite like that," says Duncan.

Duncan helped pry Kleinwachter out of a smoking smashed pickup after seeing the accident happen right before his eyes.

"There was a fire truck putting out a grass fire that was in the median, and they were out on the road just a little bit and I don't know if her husband seen how far the truck was out, but he probably hit them about 70-75 miles per hour in the rear," says Duncan.

Two firemen were also airlifted to a local hospital that night.

Kleinwachter lives in Denver, Colorado. She spoke with 5NEWS on Skype and says she suffered a concussion, twisted spine, and scrapes from the accident. She says she doesn't remember anything from that night, but is thankful for the man who helped save her life.

"A lot of people don't stop along the road and help people out and I just really felt that the Lord led him to me and blessed me," says Kleinwachter.

Duncan says he pried the truck door open, bending it with his bare hands to get Kleinwachter out.

"I know the Lord gave me the strength to do that because I couldn't have done that on my own," says Duncan.

Although she calls him her guardian angel, Duncan says he doesn't consider himself a hero. Kleinwachter says she wants people in his community to know about the good deed.

"I just really thank him for that and someday I'd like to meet him," says Kleinwachter.

Kleinwachter says she doesn't remember meeting Duncan that horrific night, but after several phone conversations says she feels like he's part of the family. Duncan admits they have their faith and passion for antiques in common.

She lives in Denver while he lives in Fort Smith, but they say they plan on meeting again in the future.

This story on is the first time she'll see her hero's face.

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