A trucker from Kentucky today was named Goodyear’s 32nd Highway Hero for rescuing a law enforcement officer who was attacked by the prisoner he was transporting about a year ago.
Clinton Blackburn of Moorhead, Ky. was honored at the Mid-America Trucking Show. He received a trophy, a Highway Hero ring and $5,000.
“I thank the good Lord putting me where he did that day,” said Blackburn upon accepting his award.
Gary Medalis, Goodyear’s marketing director for commercial tires, made the announcement and recounted what Blackburn did in March of 2014 to be nominated for and win the Highway Hero Award.
Blackburn was driving on the Bluegrass Parkway near Elizabethtown, Ky., when he noticed a police car pull an odd maneuver in the highway median. He pulled up to get a closer look and saw the driver’s side door of the police car open.
Inside, Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon was being strangled from behind by a prisoner leaning over the back seat.
Blackburn ran to the cruiser, reached into the driver side door and began struggling with the prisoner to try to free Herndon.
During the ordeal, the prisoner had pulled Herndon’s gun from its holster. Blackburn grabbed the barrel and pointed it toward the car’s dashboard.
Herndon was able to roll out of the car, but the prisoner tried to point the gun at Blackburn, who was able to seize control of the gun. Pointing it at the prisoner he backed away.
The prisoner noticed the cruiser’s keys were still in the ignition and tried to start it and drive away.
Blackburn and Herndon were able to subdue him.
At today’s presentation, Medalis said that since the incident, Herndon and Blackburn have become close friends. In fact, Blackburn said he regards Herndon as a brother.
Both men thanked Goodyear.
The company also recognized the other two finalists David Frederickson of Windemere, Fla. and Mack Guffey of Gainesboro, Tenn. They received trophies, rings and $1,000.