The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said this week it will announce the winner of the 33rd Goodyear Highway Hero Award on Thursday, March 31, during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky.
Established in 1983, the Goodyear Highway Hero Award honors professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others.
“The Goodyear Highway Hero Award is the oldest and most prestigious honor of its kind,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director, Goodyear.
“Goodyear is proud to recognize truck drivers who risk their own well-being to save people from dangerous situations.”
Finalists for the 33rd Goodyear Highway Hero Award include a driver who rescued a fellow trucker who had been ejected from his rig; a driver who used his truck to protect an injured police officer from oncoming traffic; and a driver who pulled a motorist from a flame-engulfed car.
Here are this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero Award finalists and their stories:
Mark Cavanagh, a driver from Hillsville, Va.
Cavanagh was driving his truck through Pennsylvania when he saw another tractor-trailer drive off the road and roll down a hill. The truck’s driver was ejected from the rig and was hanging from its mirror bracket by a belt. Cavanagh stopped his truck, descended down the hill, cut the injured driver’s belt, and pulled him away from the damaged truck. He then helped the driver back to the road.
Dorian Cole, a driver from Los Angeles, Calif.
Cole was driving through the Sylmar section of Los Angeles when he saw a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer collide with another motorcyclist. The impact from the collision caused the officer to hit a concrete divider. To protect the injured officer from oncoming traffic, Cole positioned his tanker truck across several highway lanes. This also gave paramedics unimpeded access to the officer.
Julian Kaczor, a driver from Utica, N.Y.
Kaczor was driving through Jacksonville, Fla., when a car drove past him at a high rate of speed, nearly clipping his truck. The car crashed into a construction barrier and began to emit smoke. Kaczor ran to the car as it became engulfed in flames, which he tried to extinguish. As the fire intensified, he forced the car’s driver side door open, pulled the injured driver out of the vehicle, and dragged him to safety.
Trucking industry journalists are now evaluating the above finalists and will select the Goodyear Highway Hero Award recipient. The finalist who is named the 33rd Goodyear Highway Hero will receive a special ring, a cash award and a congratulatory trophy. Each of the other finalists will receive a cash prize and other items.
“We look forward to honoring our Goodyear Highway Hero Award finalists for their acts of bravery and naming this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner during MATS,” said Medalis.