One of three company drivers who helped others in distress will be named this year’s winner of the Goodyear Highway Hero Award. They will be honored by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in ceremonies during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky later this month.
The three finalists and their stories include:
Darrell Atkins, from Alvaredo, Texas, drives for J.B. Hunt Atkins was on an Arizona interstate when he witnessed a vehicle containing an elderly couple get struck from behind by another vehicle, flip over and come to a stop on a grassy median. Atkins worked with a bystander to extract the driver, who was hanging upside down by her seatbelt. Even as gasoline began to leak, Atkins continued to remove her husband and the couple’s three dogs from the car and remained with them until emergency crews arrived.
Don Frederick, from Kimbolton, Ohio, drives for XPO Frederick was on a state highway in Ohio when he witnessed a coal truck flip onto its side while making a turn. Frederick removed the damaged truck’s back window, reached into the vehicle and applied direct pressure to the wounded driver, who was bleeding heavily and trapped by the truck’s steering wheel. As the truck began to emit smoke, Frederick freed the driver’s legs and worked with a bystander to help the driver exit the truck. Frederick continued to render first aid until emergency crews arrived.
Paul Mathias, from Phoenix, Arizona, drives for System Transport Mathias had stopped his truck at a red light in Phoenix when he saw a vehicle slam into an SUV that contained a mother and her two children. Mathias instructed the mother to perform CPR on her son and comforted the daughter as she passed away due to her injuries. Mathias then returned to the boy and proceeded to administer CPR to him until emergency crews arrived and took over. The boy survived.
“Since it was established in 1983, the Goodyear Highway Hero Award has recognized truck drivers who demonstrate extraordinary bravery and selflessness,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director for Goodyear. “We look forward to honoring this year’s Highway Hero Award finalists, each of whom took decisive action to save lives.”
Trucking industry journalists will select Goodyear’s newest Highway Hero, who will be honored March 28 at the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
Each Highway Hero Award finalist will receive a congratulatory trophy and other items. The winner of the Goodyear Highway Hero Award also will receive a special ring and a cash award.