TORONTO – Truck hero Stephen Lill was the center of attention during the pre-game ceremony at the Maple Leaf’s game against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 21.
Lill’s actions back in 2012, when he help save the life of a fellow truck driver caught the media’s attention and it seems that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment noticed too.
Lill’s story circulated the major mainstream news outlets such as the CBC and Metro News and got him the Bridgestone-OTA Truck Hero Award. Then, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment contacted the Ontario Trucking Association to invite Lill and his family to the game.
The Leaf’s lost 4-2 that game, but Lill won the State Farm Good Neighbour Award.
That day in 2012, 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 went in, I couldn’t even see the gentleman driving the truck. All I could see was his right arm and his right leg,” Lill told the Ontario Trucking Association.
Lill stayed with the driver until emergency vehicles arrived. He said those 35 minutes “felt like an eternity” because all the while, questions of whether the truck was going to blow up or not kept running through his head.
“I tell you, when I heard the siren, I just wanted to cry because I knew this guy was going to get the help he needed.”
But Lill insists he’s no hero.
“I had people call me, oh you’re his angel, you’re his hero – no’ I’m not. I’m just a guy who was doing his job.”
“I guess it goes back to the way I was raised – family’s family. That’s someone’s father, grandfather – I gave him my word [to stay with him until help arrived].”
For more on Lill’s story, read Get Outta My Way, I’m Going In or watch the OTA’s video.
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