Three truck drivers have been named finalists for Goodyear’s annual Highway Hero Award, the winner of which will be announced March 28 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Now in its 36th year, the contest recognizes drivers “who demonstrate extraordinary bravery and selflessness” in aiding others while on the job, says Gary Medalis, Goodyear’s marketing director.
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.
“We look forward to honoring this year’s Highway Hero Award finalists, each of whom took decisive action to save lives.”
The three finalists are:
Darrell Atkins, from Alvaredo, Texas. Atkins was driving down an Arizona interstate when he witnessed a vehicle with an elderly couple inside get struck from behind, 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. Frederick was driving down 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, Ariz. Mathias had just 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.