AKRON, Ohio – Goodyear is still searching for highway heroes- truck drivers who keep the nation’s economy moving and who come to the rescue of fellow motorists. Nominations for Goodyear’s 22nd annual North America Highway Hero program will be accepted through Nov. 30, 2004.
“Those who ply their skills and abilities behind the wheel are America’s unsung heroes. Too many times we hear about the negative aspects of trucking, such as a driver shortage. Too little is written about drivers whose ability makes our highways safer and keeps our commerce moving,” said Steve McClellan, Goodyear’s vice president, commercial tire systems.
“The Highway Hero program is for those who selflessly risk life and limb to come to the aid of fellow motorists. We believe honor should always be met with honor,” McClellan added.
McClellan appealed to the trucking industry to nominate a deserving driver. “With the final deadline fast approaching, we don’t want to leave any driver out of consideration.”
To be considered for this year’s award, the following criteria must be met:
The nominee must be a full-time truck driver; The nominee must be a resident of the United States or Canada; The incident recognized must have occurred in the United States or Canada; The nominee must have been on the job or on the way to or from work, and in his or her rig at the time of the incident; The nominee’s truck at the time of the incident must have 14 wheels or more; and The incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2003, and Nov. 15, 2004.
Nomination forms and program details may be obtained by calling the Goodyear Highway Hero Hotline at 330-796-8183. The nomination form also is available on the program’s Web site at www.goodyear.com/truck/whatsnew/heroes.html.
After the nomination period is closed, the list will be pared down to four finalists. From that group, one individual will be selected to serve as the ambassador for the program as the Goodyear North American Highway Hero. Last year’s winner, Derrick Harris, a Virginia driver for Schneider National Carriers, saved the life of a person deliberately set on fire; then Harris helped police locate and arrest the person charged with the hideous crime.
“It’s a case of being in the right place at the right time,” Harris said. “When I first saw the flames, I thought it was a brush fire. Then I noticed the fire was moving, and I realized it was a person. It seemed like something from TV or the movies, like it was a stunt man on fire.”
“Seeing someone suffer like that was terrible … something you wouldn’t wish upon anyone. For me, stopping to help was simply a reaction. I really didn’t think about what I was doing until it was all over. I just did what I had to do.”
Harris, a Schneider driver since October 2002, also was recognized by his employer with Schneider’s Presidential Citation Award.
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