Four finalists chosen for Goodyear Highway Hero Award

| 2/13/2008

Four heroic truckers have been selected as finalists for Goodyear’s 25th annual North American Highway Hero Award program.

The winner will be named at the Truck Writers of North America’s annual banquet on March 27 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. The top hero will receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a plaque and a specially designed ring. The other three finalists will each receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and a plaque.

The late David Virgoe of Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, is nominated posthumously. Virgoe sacrificed his own life to save others. On June 18, 2007, on Highway 400 near Bradford, Ontario, Virgoe ran into a median guardrail to avoid hitting a street racer who had cut him off.

Rather than slamming into oncoming traffic across the median, Virgoe then swerved to the right, crossed the highway and drove into the ditch along the right side of the road.

Virgoe, 48, died at the scene. He drove for Wilburn Archer Trucking, based in Norwood, Ontario.

Also nominated is trucker Rick Tower of Yreka, CA, saved the life of an 82-year-old woman on Sept. 19, 2007, after her car left the roadway on Highway 96 near Horse Creek, CA, and plunged into the Klamath River.

Tower was able to free the woman from her car and carry her to shore. Fortunately, the woman only suffered a broken ankle and slight hypothermia. Tower drives for Earl Bryant Trucking, based out of Happy Camp, CA.

Richard Filiczkowski of Bountiful, UT, is also a finalist. Filiczkowski saved the life of an 8-year-old girl, after her dad’s car went into a pond along Interstate 90, near Plankinton, SD, on April 26, 2007.

With the help of two others, Filiczkowski was able to free the girl, but despite his rescue efforts, her dad died. Filiczkowski drives for C.R. England Inc., based in West Valley City, UT.

The fourth finalist is Ronnie Greene of Regina, NM. He saved the life of a pregnant woman on April 27, 2007, on U.S. 84 near Espanola, NM.

Greene stopped his rig after witnessing a pregnant woman being run over by her boyfriend. He was able to push her between his truck and trailer, where he then shielded her with his body, as the woman’s boyfriend tried another three times to run over Greene and the woman.

Greene drives for A. Passmore & Sons, of Altus, OK.