Two truckers are Goodyear Highway Hero 40th grand prize winners

Updated Mar 10, 2024
Elija Ramos
Goodyear

 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced two winners in the 40thanniversary Goodyear Highway Hero program. Since 1983, Goodyear has recognized commercial drivers who go above and beyond their regular duties to keep our highways safe by acting courageously for the good of others on roadways across the U.S. and Canada.

The two grnd porize winners were:

  • Timothy VanNostrand, an owner-operator from Northville, New York
  • Elija Ramos, a driver for Ryder System, Inc. from Victorville, California

“In 2023, we asked for nominations of commercial drivers who went above and beyond to help others on the road,” said Rich Cottrell, senior director, Commercial Marketing. “The stories submitted this year reinforced the important job that commercial drivers play in our everyday lives and illustrate in heroic ways the powerful impact professional drivers can have on the roads, individual lives and communities when they help others.”

The grand prize winners and runners-up in this year’s program faced different challenges in the course of their duty but, in a similar fashion, jumped in to help, regardless of danger or situation.

Timothy VanNostrandTimothy VanNostrandGoodyearIn June 2023, VanNostrand, an owner/operator of his own logging transport company turned hero. During a New York State Trooper traffic stop that escalated into a shootout, VanNostrand sprang into action. He used his logging truck to block the suspect’s escape, preventing a potentially disastrous situation. In those intense 12 minutes, gunfire was exchanged between the trooper and the assailant. The suspect fled into nearby woods, pursued by police. Thanks to VanNostrand’s swift response, the impact was contained, sparing motorists and pedestrians. Reflecting on the incident, the member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) humbly stated, "I’m just grateful to have been in the right place at the right time and place to prevent the situation from being much, much worse, as my seemingly normal Friday route turned something that you only see on television.”

Elija RamosElija RamosGoodyearIn September 2023, Ramos, a driver for Ryder System, Inc. was on his morning route.  As he drove through a remote desert area, he witnessed an SUV lose control, cross multiple lanes of traffic and crash into a field. Ramos sprang into action, assessing the situation and promptly alerting his dispatcher. He stayed with the injured young woman until help arrived, ensuring a swift response in the isolated location. “Since it was such a remote area, it could have been a long time until help arrived,” said Ramos. “I was glad to be there when it happened and to call for help quickly.” Afterward, he went back to work and resumed his route.

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After a nationwide call for entries, finalists were identified and reviewed by a panel of independent industry judges to help select VanNostrand and Ramos as the grand prize winners. They will receive prizes from Goodyear in recognition of their heroic actions.

After review, two additional finalists will be recognized as runners-up and receive their own Goodyear prizes. The runners-up are:

Joshua Day, an ABF Freight driver from Potsdam, Ohio, sprang into action when a motorist’s truck and camper spun out of control, flipped and landed on the side of a busy road. Day swiftly pulled over, assisted the injured driver and ensured their safety by moving them away from a hazardous propane leak until first responders arrived.

Russel Peasley, a Brakebush Transportation driver from Necedah, Wisconsin, witnessed a car veer off a busy interstate, flip and land in a field. He sprang into action, joining other drivers to lift the car and rescue the trapped driver. After freeing her, Peasley stayed by her side, providing comfort until emergency medical services arrived.

The Goodyear Highway Hero Award is one way Goodyear helps recognize the importance of the commercial trucking industry. As prize recipients, VanNostrand, Ramos, Day and Peasley join the exclusive group of past honorees celebrating professional drivers who act selflessly for the good of others on the highways throughout the U.S. and Canada.