A truck driver who rescued a family of six from a smashed minivan has been named the 30th Goodyear Highway Hero.
Chosen from four finalists, Jason Harte of Rogers AR accepted the 30th Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award during the Mid-America Trucking Show recently.
Harte, who works for Missoula MT-based Sammons Trucking, was driving down an Interstate in July 2012 when he saw a speeding pickup truck push a minivan off the road and slam into another car, pushing it to the highway median.
Bystanders helped the car's driver while Harte approached the van. He saw a man and woman holding a six-month-old baby, and they were frantically trying to get out of the vehicle. Harte also noticed that three other children were trapped inside the van. He dialed 911, helped the man, woman, and baby out of the van, and then rescued the most accessible of the three other children.
Working with other bystanders, Harte-a former paramedic-opened the van's back hatch and performed first aid on the next child, then pulled her out through the door. He pulled apart seats and cut seatbelts to rescue the remaining child. Calling upon his EMT experience, Harte helped rescue crews tend to the victims' injuries-which ranged from broken legs to internal bleeding-until ambulances could whisk them away.
As the Highway Hero Award winner, Harte receives a special Highway Hero ring, a $5,000 cash prize, and other items.
He and three other truck drivers were selected as finalists for the Goodyear Highway Hero Award. Other finalists include: Christopher Burgess, an independent truck driver from Ravenna OH; Chad Dickey of Wadena MN, who drives for Tony's Transfer; and David Williams of Angier NC, who drives for Schneider National.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, the Highway Hero Award honors professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm's way to help others as they travel the highways and roads of North America.
For more information, visit http://www.goodyeartrucktires.com/.
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