Company driver, Navy vet named Goodyear Highway Hero

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A company driver from Phoenix, Arizona is this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero.

Paul Mathias, a Navy veteran who drives for System Transport was honored Thursday night in ceremonies at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky during the Mid-America Trucking Show. He received a cash award, a trophy, and a ring.

Goodyear Marketing Director Gary Medalis with finalists (from left) Darrell Atkins, Don Frederick and Paul Mathias.Goodyear Marketing Director Gary Medalis with finalists (from left) Darrell Atkins, Don Frederick and Paul Mathias.

The other two finalists were:

  • Darrell Atkins, a driver for J.B. Hunt from Alvaredo, Texas
  • Don Frederick, a driver for XPO Logistics from Kimbolton, Ohio

Each received a cash prize and a trophy.

Mathias was recognized as Goodyear’s 36th Highway Hero or his actions at the scene of an accident in Phoenix in late 2017. He had just stopped his truck at a stoplight when an SUV with a mother and two children inside was making a left turn when it was struck by a dump truck. Mathias contacted 911 and then helped the mother and performed CPR on the boy. He checked on a young girl in the car, but she had died. He went back to aiding the injured boy until EMTs arrived.

A Navy veteran who was wounded in Operation Desert Storm, Mathias grew up in Escanaba, a small town in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, said his folks instilled in him the idea of helping others in need. He said that outlook was honed by his time in the Navy.

Mathias worked as a stockbroker before becoming a truck driver. He said his father had driven truck.

“We are proud to add Paul Mathias to our list of Goodyear Highway Heroes,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director for Goodyear. “His leadership, courage, and willingness to help a family in crisis exemplify the spirit of this award.”

Mathias was chosen this year’s winner by an independent trucking industry journalists.