Toronto, ON– Stephen Lill, a driver with Contrans Flatbed Group, received the 2013 Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) Bridgestone Truck Hero Award after helping to save the life of a severely injured fellow truck driver.
Lill was travelling behind a tanker truck on the QEW in Oakville, when the tanker rolled over at the mouth of the highway, trapping the driver inside while diesel fuel quickly spilled out of the truck.
“When I got out of the truck there were some guys that told me to stop,” Lill says. “They said no one could have survived that, so don’t bother going to the truck. I said, ‘Have you checked?’ They hadn’t. So I said, ‘Get out of the way, I’m checking.”
Lill called 9-1-1 and then crawled into the cab and started talking to the driver to keep him conscious.
Bystanders asked Lill to leave for fear the diesel fuel would ignite and blow up the tanker, but he had promised the injured driver he wouldn’t leave his side, so he stayed.
Once emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they were able to free the driver and flew him to a hospital. He had life-threatening injuries, but made a full recovery.
Kim Trudgeon, the injured driver’s daughter credits Lill for helping to save her father’s life.
“Stephen is definitely a hero to our entire family,” she says.
“We are so thankful that Stephen was there that day, who put my dad’s well-being ahead of his own. We honestly believe that staying there with my dad, trying to keep him conscious, offering encouragement is a big reason why he’s still with us today.”
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