LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Colorado truck driver was recognized last week as the 26th annual Goodyear North American Highway Hero.
Jorge Orozco Sanchez was credited for saving two young girls following a horrific highway accident. The independent owner/operator was hauling grain on Oct. 28, 2008 along Hwy. 392 north of Greeley, Col. when an SUV crossed the center line and hit his rig head-on.
The SUV caught fire, but Orozco Sanchez proceeded to run to the vehicle and free the two young girls from their car seats. Tragically, the children’s mother was not able to be freed from the wreck, as the vehicle’s fuel tanks ruptured and exploded, creating an inferno, according to a report from Goodyear.
Orozco Sanchez himself sustained burns to his arms and was taken to hospital.
“Jorge’s quick thinking and bravery will be reflected in the lives of these two girls, just one- and four-years-old, in years to come,” said Joseph Copeland, vice-president, Goodyear Commercial Tires Systems. “It is our hope that their friends and family, including the girls’ father, Colin Nicklas, may find comfort in the saving of these two young lives. Though modest about the rescue, Jorge should feel proud of his actions. His heroics and those of the truck drivers honoured through this award are truly inspiring.”
For his bravery, Orozco Sanchez received a US$10,000 savings bond, a plaque, a Goodyear GPS unit and a specially-designed ring.
The other Highway Hero finalists included: UPS driver Roy Hackett of Nashville, Tenn.; Nikolay Zashev and Tihomir Tanev of the Chicago area, team drivers for FedEx Ground; and Willie Wilson of Santa Clara, Cal. – also of UPS.
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