You don’t often see much about truck drivers in the main stream news these days, unless they want to focus on some kind of highway accident. It’s fine that they want to make headlines, but the fact is, accidents caused by tractor trailer drivers are at a nearly all-time-low. (At least we think that’s a great story!) So when we talked about the deadline for the 2011 Goodyear Highway Hero Award last week, it got us thinking; what are the stories that get these truck drivers nominated?
The story of the 2010 Highway Hero
A long haul trucker traveling through California on Highway 12 near Fairfield in February 2009 saved three lives within minutes, one of which was trapped in a burning vehicle. The truck driver’s name is Junichi Shimizu. What makes the story more incredible is, Shimizu himself was struck by one of the other vehicles and had to regain control of his tractor trailer before rushing to the aid of the other drivers! Talk about a cool head.
Once his truck was under control, Shimizu called highway patrol and then headed to the vehicle that was in flames. He punched out the glass in order to get the driver un-wedged from under the dashboard. He and a helper then carried the driver to safety. Running to the other car, he quickly assessed that the driver was deceased, but there were two injured passengers inside. He got two passengers out, then kept the fire consuming the empty car under control until the local fire department arrived.
For his bravery and selflessness, Shimizu received a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond awarded to him during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.
You can also read about some of the other nominees from the 2010 competition here.
Do you know anyone who has gone beyond their call of duty while driving to help someone in danger? Nominate them for the 2011 Highway Hero award! You don’t have much time left until the deadline.