Mike Schiotis stepped between a woman and a gunman that was trying to kill her. Mike’s standoff held the gunman at bay until the woman could flee to the safety of his truck. He then raced against the raging gunman, who was on a self-described murder-suicide mission. With his truck, Mike performed a pincer movement in coordination with another trucker to out maneuver the gunman until police arrived.
Jason Harte’s trial by fire saved an entire family: He watched a truck t-bone a minivan, and as the van caught fire, Jason lept into action to rescue the passengers. He tore the car doors off a flaming vehicle and rescued a mother holding her baby. And then Jason went back for the husband and their three other children.
Kenneth Bass watched a car plunge off of a bridge and then lept into action. Literally. He began a series of river dives, performed in the dead of night, to rescue a driver from his car as it sank. Kenneth’s exceptional courage and quick action saved the driver’s life that night.
The famous Good Samaritan is remembered for pausing on the road to save a life. It’s from this famous parable that we’re given the most important rule to govern humankind: Love your neighbor as yourself.
The Golden Rule. We grow up letting it guide us, shape the way we view and treat others. And often out on the road it is truckers who rise above, that go beyond our reasonable hope of aid or kindness to follow this rule.
Truckers are called the Guardians of the Highway for a reason: And every single year Goodyear honors a few of the drivers that have put their own life in danger in order to save others.
The Goodyear’s Highway Heroes annual program was started in 1983, and over the years a pattern has emerged: time and again, year-after-year drivers prove their willingness to give their lives for others.
Drivers have been recognized for tearing flaming car doors off with their bare hands, with explosives nearby… entering vehicles to rescue families as their cars dangle precariously from trees, bridges or cliffs… saving victims from human trafficking, once by organizing a 10-strong-convoy of trucks turned into moving billboards that had images of children that needed to be rescued.
Every year, for their extraordinary heroism, three drivers are honored as finalists at a press conference at the Mid America Truck Show, with cash prizes and certificates. From the finalists, a Highway Hero of the year is recognized and receives additional prizes.
The trucking community is deeply proud of the courage that rests in its drivers. Their willingness to watch, to be the Guardians of the Highway and to cross the road for those most in need– even when that crossing is through flames or flood.
It’s important that the rest of the country know of their exceptional courage and that their vigilant eyes are always on the road. If you know of a trucking hero you would like to submit for this year’s Highway Hero, nominations are being taken here:
“Professional truck drivers are critical to our industry and seldom recognized for the important role they play in keeping the global supply chain moving,” said Dave Beasley, Vice President, Goodyear Commercial North America. “Highway Hero is Goodyear’s way of shedding light on the merits of this profession and rewarding the many drivers who go above and beyond their duty to act as Good Samaritans on the highways across North America.”