Harte, a trucker from Rogers, AR, and an OOIDA member, made a quick decision last July that saved lives. Harte witnessed a speeding pickup run a minivan off the road and slam into another car. While others attended to the car occupants, Harte, a former paramedic, approached the van. One-by-one he helped a man, woman and baby from the van and assisted in helping three other children in the vehicle as emergency personnel arrived.
Goodyear held a press event Thursday at MATS to recognize Harte and three other heroic truck drivers for deeds that went above and beyond the call. They are representative of a much larger group of truckers who put their own lives at risk to help others in need.
Other finalists this year include:
Christopher Burgess of Ravenna, OH, who died after steering his truck loaded with 15 tons of sand into trees and over a river bank rather than put the public in harm's way after his brakes failed. Burgess' parents attended MATS as guests of Goodyear in Christopher's honor.
Chad Dickey of Wadena, MN, who came upon vehicle debris in the roadway one night near Chattanooga, TN. After investigating, Dickey, an OOIDA member, found an 18-wheeler in the ditch and driver Lewis Boyd suffering from a severe gash in his leg. Dickey applied a tourniquet to Boyd's leg as Boyd was passing out, and the act saved his life.
David Williams of Angier, NC, who spotted a disabled car that had spun out in the rain and was facing oncoming traffic. The quick-thinking Williams placed safety cones around the car and directed traffic away. The story doesn't end there. An oncoming pickup then slammed into his rig and burst into flames. Williams put out the flames as the pickup driver made it to safety.
"Each of these finalists is a hero in his own right," said Gary Medalis, director of marketing for Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems.
Goodyear awarded a commemorative plaque and a cash sum to each finalist.
Tune in later to the blog for an interview and feature on this year's Highway Hero, Jason Harte.