AKRON, Ohio – Goodyear has released the names of the Highway Hero Award finalists this week, and confirmed that the winner will be announced on March 26 at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky.
The award is given to drivers who have put themselves in harm’s way in order to help others.
Highway Hero finalist, Clinton Blackburn
“Truck drivers are often the first responders to on-highway incidents, putting their lives on the line to save people from dangerous situations,” said Gary Medalis, director of marketing, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “Each of our Highway Hero Award finalists took action without concern for his own safety and is worthy of recognition.”
This year, there are three finalists considered for the 32rd annual award.
The first is Clinton Blackburn of Morehead, Ky. He was driving near Elizabethtown, Ky., when he noticed a police car veer towards the highway median and stop abruptly. He decided to pull over and investigate what was happening. When he got to the car, he noticed a prisoner had managed to strangle Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndog from the backseat. Blackburn began struggling with the prisoner in an attempt to stop him. During the struggle the prisoner had pulled Herndon’s gun from its holster. Eventually, Blackburn grabbed the gun and pointed it to the prisoner as Herndon rolled out of the car to safety. Together, Herndon and Blackburn subdued the prisoner and prevented him from driving the car away.
Mack Guffey, a driver from Gainesboro, Tenn. is the second finalist. He was driving in New York City when an SUV passed him and slammed into the guardrail and landed sideways. The vehicle burst into flames and Guffey stopped his truck and rushed over to the vehicle with his fire extinguisher. He fought the fire and helped rescued the semi-concious but severely injured driver, carrying him to safety. Guffey himself suffered several cuts and burns from the incident.
Highway Hero finalist, Mack Guffey
David Fredricksen, a driver from Windermere, Fla. is the last finalist. While driving down an interstate neat Gulfport, Miss., he watched a car crash into a truck and catch fire. He quickly pulled over, grabbed his fire extinguisher and rushed to the burning vehicle. He was able to make it to the passenger car door when spectators helped him remove the passengers – a woman, who had broken her leg in the collision, and her year-old grandchild.
The winner of the Goodyear Highway Hero award receives a special ring, a $5,000 award and a congratulatory crystal. Finalists receive a cash prize and other items.
“Each of this year’s Highway Hero Award finalists is a true hero in his own right and a credit to the trucking industry,” said Medalis. “We look forward to honouring these individuals for their courage during MATS.”
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