A trucker who
rescued an accident victim who was in danger of drowning when her vehicle
flipped into a deep, water-filled ditch is being honored as the 2004
Bridgestone/Firestone Canadian Truck Hero.
Trucker Phil Tarrant
of Abbotsford, British Columbia, made the daring and dramatic rescue in April
2004 along Highway 7 near Mission, British Columbia. His actions have earned
him the hero award, which Bridgestone/Firestone gives annually to Canadian
trucker who demonstrates courage, quick thinking and integrity in the face of
emergency. He accepted the award at a recent convention of the Ontario Trucking
Tarrant, an 10-year
employee of Vedder Transport Ltd. in Abbotsford, was driving along Highway 7
between Maple Ridge and Mission on April 26 when a car in front of him lost
control, struck a utility pole and flipped upside down, eventually landing in a
water-filled ditch, with the car’s lone occupant trapped inside.
Realizing that the
occupant was in danger of drowning, Tarrant drove his truck as close as
possible to the partially submerged car and, with the help of a motorist who
was also at the accident scene, hooked the crane’s line to the car. He guided
the crane over the live power lines and lifted the car about 4 feet out of the
water, so that the occupant could breathe.
Using the crane,
Tarrant held the vehicle in this position for about 20 minutes until emergency
personnel arrived and extricated the woman. Once the car occupant was safe,
Tarrant maneuvered the crane to lift the vehicle over the power lines and set
it down on the roadside.
exhibited extraordinary poise and professionalism in a crisis situation,” said
Jim West, district manager for commercial products in eastern Canada for
Bridgestone/Firestone. “His courage and determination in carrying out a rescue
mission fraught with danger can only be described as an act of true heroism.
His conduct in the face of such adversity exemplifies what the
Bridgestone/Firestone Canadian Truck Hero Award is all about.”
Along with a trophy,
Tarrant received a $5,000 check from Bridgestone/Firestone Canada. He joins 48
professional Canadian transport truck drivers who have won the award, which
Bridgestone/Firestone Canada has presented since 1956. The award winner is
selected from among nominations submitted by Canadian trucking companies, which
are required to include a police statement corroborating the nominated driver’s