A truck driver who administered first aid to a motorist who had been pierced through the neck by a broken steering wheel after crashing into a truck is the 35th recipient of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Highway Hero Award.
Chosen from three finalists, Frank Vieira of Ancaster, Ontario, accepted the 35th Goodyear Highway Hero Award during a special event at the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
Vieira was driving near Toronto, Ontario when he heard a loud crash, looked over his shoulder and noticed that a car on the other side of the road had slammed into the back of a stationary roll-off truck. He parked and ran to the car to see the driver pierced through the neck by a piece of his steering wheel, which had snapped off on impact. Vieira then placed one of his hands over the still-conscious driver’s wound and applied direct pressure, while using his other hand to notify emergency services. The driver of the parked truck walked over to investigate and fainted at the sight of the injuries.
While continuing to apply direct pressure, Vieira used his foot to pull the leg of the driver, who had fainted, away from traffic. Emergency personnel arrived and transported both men to the hospital, and they survived.
“Since 1983, the Goodyear Highway Hero Award has honored truck drivers who have rescued children from drowning, pulled injured people from burning vehicles, saved law enforcement officials from attackers and more,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director for Goodyear. “Every truck driver we’ve met through the Goodyear Highway Hero Award program has been just that: a hero. And today, we are proud to add Frank Vieira to that list.”
As an award recipient, Vieira will receive a Highway Hero ring, cash prize and other items. Vieira was one of two other truck drivers selected as finalists for the 35th Goodyear Highway Hero Award. Meet the other finalists below.
Brian Bucenell, a driver from Richmond, Virginia, merged onto the Ohio Turnpike near Toledo when he switched on his CB and overhead other truck drivers discussing a high-speed chase that was taking place not far from his location. Moments later, while glancing at his mirror, Bucenell saw state trooper pursuit vehicles chasing a car, which was rapidly heading his way. Bucenell’s truck suddenly entered a construction zone and was forced to merge from three lanes to two lanes. The speeding car tried to pass his 18-wheeler on the shoulder. But while maintaining highway speed, Bucenell kept pace with the car, spotted an opening and maneuvered his truck to sandwich the car against the guard rail, stopping the vehicle and giving state troopers time to catch up. Troopers arrested the car’s driver and passengers, who were later charged with motor vehicle theft.
Ryan Moody, a driver from Tacoma, Washington, was driving down a busy Chicago freeway when a motorcyclist swerved and crashed in front of his truck. With no time to spare, Moody maneuvered his truck to avoid hitting the unconscious motorcyclist, who was bleeding from a head injury. He then positioned his 18-wheeler to protect him from other vehicles. After jumping out of his truck, Moody wrapped his own shirt around the injured motorcyclist’s head to prevent further blood loss, while simultaneously calming surrounding bystanders, who had gathered nearby. Moody stayed with the motorcyclist until paramedics arrived. They later credited him with saving the man’s life.
The Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner was selected by an independent panel consisting of members of the trucking trade press.
“We are proud of not only Frank, but of Brian and Ryan, as well,” Medalis said. “Each is a hero in his own right and a credit to his profession.”