Highway hero finalists announced at MATS
truckdrivers who risked their lives to help others have been selected
as finalists for the 2002 Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award,
the trucking industry's most prestigious award for heroism.
March 21, the drivers will be introduced to the trucking industry
at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, and one of the
drivers will be named the 2002 Goodyear North America Highway Hero.
- Anthony Gouverneur, Evansville, IN. Traveling on U.S. 95 near
Vidal Junction, CA, on the evening of March 28, 2002, Gouverneur
came upon the scene of a two-vehicle collision. Both vehicles
were in flames, and all victims were trapped inside. Despite the
intense heat and flames, Gouverneur went into one of the vehicles,
and he managed to save the life of one woman by pulling her to
safety. Gouverneur received medical assistance on the scene for
burns to his face and right arm following attempts to return to
the vehicles for additional recovery. The two other motorists
perished inside the burning vehicles. Gouverneur was commended
for his actions by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
He is a driver for Swift Transportation Co., based in Phoenix,
- Charles Ingram, Jackson, GA. On Oct. 28, 2002, while driving outside
of Atlanta, Ingram came upon an accident scene with a car on fire.
Stopping his truck to help, he saw that no other bystanders would
approach the vehicle because of the fire and a fear the car could
explode. Ingram realized that two passengers were trapped in the
burning vehicle, and the unconscious driver's foot remained on
the gas pedal, making the situation even more perilous. Using
a hammer, Ingram broke out the rear passenger window and pulled
the passenger out of the car. Returning to the car, he broke out
the front driver's side window and struggled to pull the unconscious
driver from the burning wreckage. He put the driver onto a grassy
area and began first-aid treatment as he had been instructed in
the military. Ingram stayed with the driver until Gwinnett County
Fire Rescue units arrived. Ingram drives for FedEx.
Lantz, Ludlow, KY. The Washington, DC, area sniper shootings in
the fall of 2002 had many area residents in a panic and thousands
of local police officials working around the clock in efforts
to track down the suspects. In the early morning of Oct. 24, 2002,
Lantz was able to end the suspense for everyone and put millions
of Americans back into their normal routines. As Lantz pulled
his rig into a rest stop along I-70 in Maryland, he recognized
a blue Chevrolet Caprice with New Jersey license plates and two
men who might be sniper suspects. Recalling the description he
had heard just hours earlier on the "Truckin' Bozo"
radio show, Lantz called 9-1-1 to make the report. He then maneuvered
his 18-wheeler to block the exit ramp and waited for police to
arrive. Soon, a multitude of police and FBI vehicles descended
upon the rest stop, and the two suspects were arrested. Just a
week earlier, Lantz had used his CB radio to organize an impromptu
gathering of truckdrivers to pray for an end to the sniper crisis.
Recently retired, Lantz was a driver for Thompson Trucking in
- Sebastian Lisitano, Winter Park, FL. On Feb. 20, 2002, Lisitano
was traveling on I-95 in Virginia when the driver of a small car
changed lanes and collided with a pickup truck, sending the pickup
skidding and overturning, eventually catching fire. As other vehicles
spun, trying to avoid the crash, Lisitano was able to pull his
truck to the side of the road. He and another motorist ran to
the burning pickup to offer assistance. The other motorist helped
the driver slide out as Lisitano lifted the vehicle. The driver
of the pickup had severe burns over much of his body, and was
"definitely within seconds of losing his life," according
to a Virginia State Police spokesman. Lisitano received a certificate
of appreciation from the Virginia State Police and was nominated
for a Carnegie Medal. A FedEx driver, Lisitano was driving to
Florida when the accident occurred.
finalists were culled from nominees throughout the United States
and Canada. A panel of judges, consisting of members of the trucking
and tire trade media, will select the 2002 Goodyear North America
Highway Hero. To nominate a professional truckdriver for the 2003
Goodyear Highway Hero Award, visit www.highwayhero.net.