Goodyear accepting nominations for 2020 Highway Hero award

Goodyear Highway Hero finalists for 2019 were Darrell Atkins, left, Paul Mathias and Don Frederick. Mathis was named the winner. (The Trucker file photo)

AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear is accepting nominations for its annual Highway Hero Award, which honors truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others.

The 2019 Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner, Paul Mathias, a driver for System Transport of Cheney, Washington, administered CPR to save the life of a young passenger involved in a car accident.

“It’s incredibly humbling to hear story after story of the selflessness of so many of our nation’s truck drivers,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director, Goodyear North America. “Goodyear’s Highway Hero Award gives us an opportunity to share these incredible stories and celebrate the extraordinary deeds of truck drivers in the ordinary course of their work.”

Nomination forms for the Goodyear Highway Hero Award are available here. 

A copy of contest rules can also be found online.

A panel of representatives from the trucking industry will select the next Goodyear Highway Hero from among three finalists identified by Goodyear. The winner will be announced in March 2020, coinciding with the annual Mid-America Trucking Show, and will receive a cash award, among other prizes. Each finalist will also receive a cash prize and various items.

Nominations must be submitted before December 31, 2019 and meet the following criteria to be considered for the award:

  • A full-time truck driver
  • Residing in the U.S. or Canada
  • The heroic incident must have happened in the U.S. or Canada
  • Nominee’s truck must have had 12 wheels or more at the time of the incident
  • Nominee must have been on the job – or on the way to or from work, in his or her truck – at the time of the incident
  • Incident must have taken place between November 16, 2018, and November 16, 2019

The 2019 winner Mathias was in his hometown of Phoenix, starting his workday one morning, when he stopped at a red light.

He watched as a woman in an SUV went to make a left turn as the light was changing. But a dump truck coming in the opposite direction came straight through and T-boned her vehicle. Later, Mathias said, the driver of the dump truck admitted he hadn’t hit his brakes at all before the collision.

The SUV went spinning before coming to a stop near Mathias’ truck. Mathias, who had his headset on, dialed 911. When he got to the SUV, the woman who’d been driving had already gotten out and was getting her unconscious son out, despite being injured herself. As they started performing CPR on the boy, she told Mathias her 9-year-old daughter was still inside.

Mathias got in the SUV and found the girl was pinned in place. The 911 dispatcher told Mathias to check for a pulse. When he couldn’t find one, the mother started crying, and the dispatcher told Mathias to go back and continue CPR on the boy.

Mathias said emergency personnel got there within three minutes. It was too late for the little girl, but the boy and his mother survived.

This accident was indicative of a problem he sees everywhere, Mathias said. “When that light turns yellow, people just gun it. The yellow light should mean to slow down.”

This marks the 37th year Goodyear will be honoring a truck driver with this award. Other past Goodyear Highway Hero Award winners include a truck driver who ripped the back door from a burning car to save two passengers and a driver who dove into a pond to pull a child from a submerged car.



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