Pictured above: A previous Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner at Truck Writers of North America Industry Awards Banquet. Photo courtesy of Paul Hartley/TWNA
The Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award (NAHHA) honors professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others as they travel the highways and roads of North America. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will announce the winner of the 31st Goodyear NAHHA on March 27 during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky.
Many men and women are nominated for this award every year. “Each of our Highway Hero finalists took action without concern for his own safety in order to save another person from a life-threatening situation,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director of Goodyear Commercial Tire System.
The four finalists for the 31st year of recognition are Brian Dunn, Tim Horton, Scott Rosenberg, and Ivan Vasovic.
Brian Dunn, a driver from Knoxville, Tennessee, was on a highway in Oklahoma when he witnessed a car crash through an overpass’ guard rail and land on its roof in the road below. Dunn ran to the vehicle as the engine caught fire. As he turned back to pull a fire extinguisher from his truck, Dunn heard a cry for help. A two-year old boy was trapped in the back seat of the burning vehicle. Dunn pried against the car door until it gave way, allowing him to rescue the child. Other bystanders attempted to rescue the young boy’s mother from the driver’s seat, but she had died as a result of the crash.
Tim Horton was driving outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama when a small car passed his truck, spun around, and drove into a 35-foot-deep ravine. The teenage driver was trapped inside the upside down vehicle in a creek bed. Horton flagged down a man to help him, who happened to be a volunteer firefighter. The men made their way to the creek to find the teenager alive but bleeding heavily from a cut on his head. Horton cut the teenager’s seatbelt, pulled him from the car, and stabilized the teenager’s condition with the help of the firefighter. It took ten men using a 50 foot fire ladder to transport the teenager to the waiting ambulance.
After dropping off a load in Silverwater, Minn., Scott Rosenberg spotted a pickup truck that was upside down in a pond with steam rising from it. Rosenberg was driving a trailer with a boom crane used for loading heavy concrete products. Acting quickly, he positioned the crane in place, hoping to flip the pickup truck over. Using the crane, Rosenberg turned the pickup right-side up. Its driver, a college student who had fallen asleep at the wheel, was still alive.
Ivan Vasovic was at a stop sign when he witnessed a double tanker truck hit the concrete divider of a freeway overpass, careen off a wall, and slam into a guard rail. Its tanks full of diesel were ripped open as the truck came to a stop with its tractor and first tanker hanging over the side of the overpass. The truck’s driver was trapped inside when the diesel ignited. The driver, now on fire, kicked out a window, slid down the truck, and fell 20 feet to the ground, breaking his arm and leg in the process. The suspended truck was now engulfed in flames. Vasovic and another bystander pulled the driver to safety a few yards at a time due to the extreme heat. After pulling the wounded driver about 20 yards away from where the man fell, the burning truck crashed to the ground.
The finalists are being evaluated by trucking industry journalists. The selected winner of the award will receive a special ring, a $5,000 award, and a congratulatory plaque. All other finalists will receive a smaller cash prize and a plaque.
Since 1983 Goodyear has been honoring truckers for putting their life at risk for others. We continue to thank all of the brave men and women who do the same!
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