The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will announce the winner of the 30th Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award on Thursday, March 21, during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky.
The Goodyear Highway Hero Award honors professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm's way to help others.
This year's winner will be announced at a special press event on March 21 in Room C108 of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, where MATS will take place.
Finalists for the 30th Goodyear Highway Hero Award include an Ohio-based driver who died after fighting to control a loaded truck that had lost its brakes; a Minnesota-based driver who rescued a fellow trucker who had been severely injured in a horrific crash; an Arkansas-based trucker who rescued a family that had been trapped in a smashed minivan, and a North Carolina-based driver who pulled a man from a burning pickup truck.
"The Goodyear Highway Hero Award recognizes professional truck drivers who put their lives on the line to help others," said Phillip Kane, vice president, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. "Each of our Highway Hero Award finalists took action without regard to his personal safety, and saved other people's lives."
Finalists for the 30th Goodyear Highway Hero Award include:
Christopher Burgess, an independent driver from Ravenna, Ohio. After picking up 15 tons of sand, Burgess was driving a truck down a steep hill in Akron, Ohio, when its brakes failed. Fighting to keep the truck under control, Burgess waved his arms and honked the vehicle's horn while it sped down the hill toward a busy intersection at an estimated 50 miles per hour. He maneuvered the truck through the intersection, missing both pedestrians and other automobiles. He swerved between two buildings full of people and steered toward bushes and trees at the rear of the property, behind which was a river bank. The truck hit a tree and dropped into the river below. Burgess died in the accident.
Chad Dickey of Wadena, Minn., who drives for Tony's Transfer. Dickey was driving near Chattanooga, Tenn., late at night when he came across vehicle debris, including a fuel tank, scattered across the highway. Dickey stopped his truck, grabbed his flashlight, and went to investigate. He spotted some tracks on the pavement and followed them to a nearby ditch, where he found the remains of an 18-wheeler, including the exposed driver's seat to which Lewis Boyd, another trucker, was strapped. Boyd had suffered a massive gash in his leg and was passing in and out of consciousness due to rapid blood loss. Dickey applied a tourniquet to Boyd's leg for 30 minutes while keeping him alert until rescue personnel arrived. They airlifted Boyd to a local hospital, where he spent more than a month recovering from his injuries.
Jason Harte of Rogers, Ark., who drives for Sammons Trucking. Harte was driving down an interstate in Wyoming when he saw a speeding pickup truck push a minivan off the road and slam into another car, pushing it to the highway median. Bystanders helped the car driver while Harte approached the van, where a man and woman holding a six-month-old baby were frantically trying to get out of the vehicle. Harte noticed three other children were trapped in the van. He dialed 911, helped the man, woman and baby out of the van, and then rescued the most accessible of the three other children.
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