2012 Highway Hero Named at MATS

This is not only  a story of trucker heroism, but also one of what truck drivers can accomplish when working together.

Driving along Interstate 380, just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania, truck driver, Mike Schiotis saw a chilling scene– a man pursing a woman with a gun.

Schiotis sprang into action.  Schiotis told The Tennessean, She was shrieking and in fear for her life. I said a quick prayer: ˜God, if you are going to take me, I’m ready, but I’ve got to help out'”

He then jumped out of his cab to find the man beating the woman just outside his door. I could hear the sound of the gun hitting her head.”

The woman began beating on Schiotis‘ door screamin, “Help me! He’s going to kill me.”

Schiotis saw that the woman was pregnant and bleeding from her head, so he positioned himself between her and the armed attacker so she was able to climb into his rig. The attacker backed off for a few seconds, and Schiotis was able to get into his driver’s seat and leave. But the attacker started his vehicle and continued to pursue them down the road!

The man chased him for several miles.  Schiotis decided to phone the State Highway Patrol and got on his CB to alert other drivers, in the area, about what was happening.

Answering the call, a driver from Dupre Transport pulled alongside Schiotis’ rig and blocked the other lane. Side-by-side, the two drivers weaved through lanes to block the assailant from advancing.

I just kept checking my mirrors until I could see (troopers), Schiotis said. Police were able to apprehend the assailant without incident.

According to police records, the assailant was enraged over the victim’s pregnancy and had planned to murder the woman and then kill himself.

The victim, who sustained a broken wrist, a head trauma and several lacerations,  was taken to a local hospital.

For his act of heroism, Panther Expedited Services Inc., driver Schiotis, was awarded Goodyear’s Highway Hero Award.

“We are grateful to Mike Schiotis for his quick thinking and brave actions, said Phillip Kane, vice president of Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. He literally put himself ˜in the line of fire,’ and in all probability, prevented a tragedy from taking place. Mike’s decision to interject himself into this dangerous situation is a powerful example of the selflessness and professionalism exhibited by many of today’s professional truck drivers. Because of his action, a life was saved. For this, Mike Schiotis has earned the right to be called a hero.

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