A trucker who pulled an injured man from a burning car, another who rescued a fellow trucker who was ejected following a crash, and another who used his truck and tanker to shield an injured motorcycle cop from oncoming traffic following a crash are the finalists for 33rd annual Goodyear Highway Hero Award.
The winner will be announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., next month. The award honors professional truckers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others.
The three finalists are:
Mark Cavanagh, Hillsville, Va. Cavanagh was driving his truck through Pennsylvania when he saw another tractor-trailer drive off the road and roll down a hill. The truck’s driver was ejected from the rig and was hanging from its mirror bracket by a belt. Cavanagh stopped his truck, descended the hill, cut the injured driver’s belt, and pulled him away from the damaged truck. He then helped the driver back to the road.
Dorian Cole, Los Angeles, Calif. Cole was driving through the Sylmar section of Los Angeles when he saw a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer collide with another motorcyclist. The impact from the collision caused the officer to hit a concrete divider. To protect the injured officer from oncoming traffic, Cole positioned his tanker truck across several highway lanes. This also gave paramedics unimpeded access to the officer. Cole received a commendation from the Los Angeles City Council for his efforts.
Julian Kaczor, Utica, N.Y. Kaczor was driving through Jacksonville, Fla., when a car drove past him at a high rate of speed, nearly clipping his truck. The car crashed into a construction barrier and began to emit smoke. Kaczor ran to the car as it became engulfed in flames, which he tried to extinguish. As the fire intensified, he forced the car’s driver-side door open, pulled the injured driver out of the vehicle, and dragged him to safety.
The winner is selected by a pool of trucking industry journalists and will receive a special ring, a cash award and a congratulatory trophy. Each of the other finalists will receive a cash prize and other items.
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