Edward A. Regener, a driver for FedEx Freight based in Fontana, Calif., was named North America Highway Hero for 2006 by Goodyear on Thursday, March 22, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.
Regener, of Perres, Calif., saved the lives of three men in a three-vehicle collision on Interstate 10 near Goodyear, Ariz., on Nov. 4, 2006. The accident was triggered when a car traveling westbound lost control, crossed the median and continued in the eastbound lanes. The car collided with a pickup truck with such force that the two vehicles struck Regener’s truck, which was carrying hazardous, corrosive materials.
Fire erupted in the pickup truck and in the cab and first trailer of the truck. Regener’s shipment accelerated the fire and added to the toxicity of the smoke. Regener immediately worked to remove two men from the car and a man and woman from the pickup truck before the fire was able to spread farther.
One Goodyear police officer said Regener was crucial in helping him remove the large male pickup driver and away from the flames. Regener was later transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. A passenger in the pickup truck later died from her injuries.
Founded by Goodyear in 1983, the Highway Hero program recognizes professional truck drivers and the often unnoticed, life-saving rescues and roadside assistance they provide as their jobs take them across North America. For more information on the program, go to www.goodyear.com/truck/whatsnew/heroes.html.
“We are indebted to truck drivers across the United States and Canada who keep America rolling and who are there for us in a time of need,” says Steve McClellan, vice president for commercial tire systems for Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. “We are indebted to truck drivers across the United States and Canada who keep America rolling and who are there for us in a time of need. Truck drivers are the true American heroes. They have become the eyes and ears of our highways. And when we’ve needed help, they stopped and put themselves in harm’s way.”