Wanted: Goodyear Highway Hero nominations

| 9/20/2013

Truck drivers are often first on the scene when an incident occurs out on the road. Goodyear is looking to recognize those heroes, who put their own lives at risk in order to save others.

Goodyear is seeking nominations for its 31st North American Goodyear Highway Hero Award. The winner will be named in March 2014 at the Mid-America Trucking Show – MATS – in Louisville, Ky.

“Truck drivers are often first responders to on-highway incidents, springing into action without regard for their own well-being and putting their lives on the line to save others,” said Phillip Kane, vice president of Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems, in the release in September.

To be eligible for the award, nominees must be full-time truck drivers of a truck with 12 or more wheels. The incident has to have happened when the nominee was either on the job or on the way to or from work – but in his or her rig at the time. The incident must have occurred in the U.S. or Canada between Nov. 16, 2012, and Nov. 16, 2013.

The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a custom Goodyear Highway Hero ring and other honors, according to a Goodyear release about the award.

Jason Harte of Rogers, Ark., who drives for Sammons Trucking was named the 30th Goodyear Highway Hero.

Harte, an OOIDA member, was driving down an interstate in Wyoming when he saw a speeding pickup truck push a minivan off the road and slam into another car, pushing it to the highway median. Bystanders helped the car driver while Harte approached the van, where a man and woman holding a 6-month-old baby were frantically trying to get out of the vehicle. Harte noticed three other children were trapped in the van. He dialed 911, helped the man, woman and baby out of the van, and then rescued the most accessible of the three other children.

Working with other bystanders, Harte, a former paramedic, opened the van’s back hatch and began performing first aid on the nearest child, then pulled her out through the door. He pulled apart seats and cut seatbelts to rescue the third child. Calling upon his EMT experience, Harte helped rescue crews tend to the victims’ injuries – which ranged from broken legs to a fractured skull and internal bleeding – until ambulances could whisk them away.

Nominations can be submitted at goodyeartrucktires.com.