AKRON — Goodyear has named the three finalists for the 2019 Highway Hero Award, which it will be present during a ceremony March 28 in Louisville, Ky.
The 2019 Mid-America Trucking Show is being held March 28-30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
This year will mark the 36th year for the award, which honors professional truck drivers for brave and selfless acts that put them in harm's way as they work. Finalists for this year's award are Darrell Atkins of Alvaredo, Texas; Don Frederick of Kimbolton, Ohio; and Paul Mathias of Phoenix.
"Since 1983, Goodyear has honored professional truck drivers who have put themselves in harm's way to help others, making the Goodyear Highway Hero Award the oldest and most prestigious honor of its kind," Goodyear Marketing Director Gary Medalis said.
Last year's winner, Canadian Frank Vieira,was honored for saving the life a fellow motorist whose neck had been pierced by a piece of his own car's steering wheel.
Mr. Vieira was driving near Toronto when he heard a loud crash and spotted a car on the other side of the road that had slammed into the back of a stationary roll-off truck. Mr. Vieira parked his truck, ran to the car and found the driver had been pierced through the neck by a piece of his own vehicle's steering wheel, which had snapped off on impact.
Mr. Vieira applied direct pressure to the wound of the motorist, who was still conscious, and used his other hand to notify emergency personnel.
This year's finalists and their stories are:
Darrell Atkins was driving on an Arizona interstate when he witnessed a vehicle containing an elderly couple get struck from behind, flip over and come to a stop on a grassy median.
Mr. Atkins worked with a bystander to extract the driver, who was hanging upside down by her seatbelt. Even as gasoline began to leak, Mr. Atkins continued to remove the husband and the couple's three dogs from the car and remained with them until emergency crews arrived.
Don Frederick was driving on a state highway in Ohio when he witnessed a coal truck flip onto its side while making a turn. Mr. Frederick removed the damaged truck's back window, reached into the vehicle and applied direct pressure to the wounded driver, who was bleeding heavily and trapped by the truck's steering wheel.
As the truck began to emit smoke, Mr. Frederick freed the driver's legs and worked with a bystander to help the driver exit the truck. Mr. Frederick continued to render first aid until emergency crews arrived.
Paul Mathias had just stopped his truck at a red light in Phoenix when he saw a vehicle slam into an SUV that contained a mother and her two children. Mr. Mathias instructed the mother to perform CPR on her son and comforted the daughter as she died due to her injuries. Mr. Mathias then returned to the boy and proceeded to administer CPR until emergency crews arrived and took over. The boy survived.
Trucking industry journalists will select Goodyear's newest Highway Hero, who will honored during a special event at the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel.
Each Highway Hero Award finalist will receive a trophy and other items. The winner of the Goodyear Highway Hero Award will receive a special ring and a cash award.