Since 1983, Goodyear’s Highway Hero Award has honored truckers who risk their own lives or safety to help others. Here are the stories of the 2019 finalists.
Paul Mathias from Phoenix, Arizona was stopped at a red light when he saw a dump truck crash into an SUV with a mother and her two children inside. Mathias raced over to the accident site and told the woman to perform CPR on her son. He provided comfort to the daughter as she passed away from her injuries. Mathias then returned to the boy and performed CPR on him until medical help arrived. The boy survived.
Darrell Atkins from Alvaredo, Texas was traveling an Arizona interstate when he saw that the vehicle of an elderly couple was hit from behind and then flipped onto a median. Mr. Atkins was able to remove the driver who was suspended upside down by her seatbelt. Then, even with gasoline leaking from the damaged vehicle, Atkins worked to free the driver’s husband and their three dogs who were also trapped.
Don Frederick from Kimbolton, Ohio was on the road when he saw a coal truck flip on its side while turning. After removing the back window of the damaged vehicle, Frederick was able to access the driver and apply direct pressure to his wound to slow the heavy bleeding. Even as smoke began to filter from the truck, Frederick worked to remove the injured driver who was trapped behind the steering wheel. He then continued to administer first aid until emergency medical help arrived.
The trucking industry journalists who select the winner each year named Paul Mathias as Goodyear’s Highway Hero for 2019. During a ceremony on March 28th, Mr. Mathias was presented with a congratulatory trophy, a special ring and other items, plus a cash award.