Nominations Open for Goodway’s Highway Hero Award
Goodyear is accepting nominations for their upcoming 33rd Highway Hero Award from now until November 29th. Because truck drivers spend their day on the road and highways of our nation, they are often the unplanned first responders upon accidents and crimes. Truckers have become known for their heroic acts throughout our country and every year Goodyear brings these men and woman to the spotlight and bestow the Highway Hero Award upon one of them.
Last year’s Highway Hero was OOIDA Member Clinton Blackburn from Morehead, Kentucky. While driving his route, Blackburn saw a sheriff’s cruiser reel toward the median and come to a quick stop. He pulled over and could see that the driver side door was open. Hen he looking inside, he saw a prisoner reaching through the glass and strangling Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon. Acting quickly, Blackburn reached into the car fought with the prisoner, trying to get Herndon out of the man’s grasp. When the prisoner wrenched Herndon’s gun from its holster, Blackburn grabbed the barrel. He attempted to point it away from them all at the dashboard, but when the prisoner tried to point it at Blackburn, he flipped the gun around and took aim at the prisoner. Herndon was then able to recover and restrain the prisoner.
In 2013, Ivan Vasovic took the award for rescuing another trucker from a burning tanker. While driving on a freeway overpass in Los Angeles, Vasovic saw a double tanker truck smash into a concrete divider, lurch off the wall and hit a guard rail. The tractor and first tank trailer were flung across the overpass and left dangling from the side. The cargo tanks split open, spilled diesel fuel across the highway and ignited with the driver still trapped inside. The driver was able to break a window and toss himself onto the railroad tracks below, suffering a broken arm, a broken leg and burns. He watched above him as the suspended truck was overcome by flames and plumes of black smoke. Vasovic and a bystander could tell his was badly injured and attempted to drag him from under the truck, but because the heat was so intense, they could barely make it a few yards. Vasovic ran back to his truck, doused himself in water, and was then able to pull the driver about 20 years away to safety. Within moments, the fiery tanker smashed to the ground in the spot the driver has landed.
Both of these men put themselves in harms way to help another individual. Their quick thinking saved lives and their courageous actions led them to become everyday heroes. Both situations were deadly, but both men chose to put concern for their own lives aside in order to help a fellow man. Both victims owe their lives to the selflessness of these two men, who have earned the title of Highway Hero in every way.
After nominations are closed on Nov. 29th, three finalists will be chosen from the candidates to go before a panel of judges from the trucking industry who will choose the final winner for the Highway Hero Award. The winner will be officially announced in March 2016 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Anyone can nominate a trucker at GoodyearTruckTires.com. A nominee must be a trucker full time and live in either the U.S. or Canada. The heroic act also must have taken place in the U.S. or Canada between Nov. 16, 2014 and Nov. 16, 2015. At the time of the incident, the driver’s truck must have had 12 wheels or more and the driver has to be working, or on the way to or from work in their truck.