Goodyear names Clinton Blackburn as 32nd Highway Hero

by Sonia Straface

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Goodyear has named its 32nd Highway Hero today at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The newest hero is Clinton Blackburn of Morehead, Ky. He earned the award after he saved a law enforcement official from being strangled by a prisoner last year near Elizabethtown, Ky.

Clinton Blackburn
Left to right: Darrell Herndon, Clinton Blackburn and Gary Medalis.

While driving, Blackburn noticed something was suspicious after he watched a sheriff’s cruiser lurch towards the highway median and then come to a sudden stop. He pulled over to investigate and saw Spencer County jailer, Darrell Herndon, was being strangled from behind by a prisoner. Blackburn got into the car and mediated the situation even after the prisoner got a hold of Herdon’s gun.

“Clinton’s brave, decisive actions ensured that Darrell would be home with his family that night,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “Clinton acted without regard for his own safety, literally putting himself in harm’s way to save another person. His decision to get involved is a powerful example of the selflessness and courage exhibited by professional truck drivers. He has earned the right to be called a Goodyear Highway Hero.”

When announced at MATS that he was the winner, Blackburn got choked up as it came time for him to say a few words.

“It’s kind of hard to talk about what happened,” he said. “I want to thank Goodyear because we don’t get a lot of spotlight as truckers and it’s a real good thing for Goodyear to do. I didn’t expect to win…these guys here (finalists on stage) deserve it too.”

Herndon, who is still in touch with and friends with Blackburn, also made the  trip out to MATS for the special announcement.

“Whether he won this or not, he’s my hero,” he said of Blackburn’s win.

Blackburn will take home a $5,000 cash prize, along with a Highway Hero award ring and a Highway Hero trophy.

Runners up, David Fredericksen, a driver from Windermere, Fla. and Mack Guffey, a driver from Gainesboro, Tenn., received a trophy and $1000 cash.






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