Goodyear Highway Hero finalists named

| 2/13/2007

In August, trucker Elizabeth Pavlista pulled a woman from a burning car and used a fire extinguisher to try stopping a fuel tank explosion.

Two months later, driver Marlon Marum saw an alleged drug dealer wrestling with a Minneapolis police officer and honked his tractor's horn before running to wrestle the suspect off of the officer.

Pavlista and Marum are two of the four finalists for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.'s annual North America Highway Hero award contest. Journalists in the trucking industry will select a winner, who is scheduled to be announced March 22 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.

Joining Pavlista, of Miami, AZ, and Marum, a resident of Burnsville, MN, as finalists are Edward Regener, of Perres, CA, and Richard Miner of Phoenix.

"Lives were saved this year because the actions of these three men and this woman," said Steve McClellan, vice president of commercial tire systems for Goodyear. "We are indebted to truck drivers across the United States and Canada who keep America rolling and who are there for us in a time of need. Truck drivers are the true American heroes."

The winner will receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a plaque and a specially designed ring. Other finalists will get $5,000 savings bonds and plaques, a news release from Goodyear stated.

Regener has been credited with saving the lives of three men after an accident on Interstate 10 near Goodyear, AZ, in November. After two four-wheelers struck Regener's truck and trailer loaded with hazardous materials, Regener helped remove two men from a car and a man and woman from a pickup truck as the fire spread.

Miner saw a car in front of him roll several times and land upside down in the median after another tractor trailer cut off the four-wheeler. Miner used a fire extinguisher to put out flames that started near the fuel tank, and pried open the car's door to rescue a woman stuck inside.

The Highway Hero program was founded by Goodyear in 1983 to recognize professional truck drivers that make life-saving rescues and roadside assistance that often goes unnoticed, according to a news release issued by the tire company.

"They have become the eyes and ears of our highways," McClellan said. "When we've needed help they've stopped and put themselves in harm's way."