LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Canadian Frank Vieira, who saved the life a fellow motorist whose neck had been pierced by a piece of his own steering wheel, is the latest recipient of the Goodyear Highway Hero Award.
The 35th annual award was presented to Vieiro, of Ancaster, Ontario, on March 22 at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Louisville, the city that is hosting the annual Mid-American Trucking Show.
Vieira was driving near Toronto when he heard a loud crash and spotted a car on the other side of the road that had slammed into the back of a stationary roll-off truck. Vieira parked his truck, ran to the car and found the driver had been pierced through the neck by a piece of his own vehicle's steering wheel, which had snapped off on impact.
Vieira applied direct pressure to the wound of the motorist, who was still conscious, and used his other hand to notify emergency personnel.
The driver of the parked truck returned to his investigate the accident and immediately fainted at the sight of the injury. While continuing to apply direct pressure, Vieira used his foot to pull the leg of the driver who had fainted away from traffic.
Both men were taken to a hospital and survived.
Gary Medalis, marketing director for Goodyear, said the 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. 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."
Vieira receives a special Highway Hero ring, a cash prize and other items. An independent panel consisting of members of the trucking trade press judged the entrants.
The other truck drivers who were finalists for the award are:
- Brian Bucenell, a driver from Richmond, Va., who helped to thwart a car jacker who was speeding away from police. After entering a construction zone on the Ohio Turnpike near Toledo, Bucenell used his truck to sandwich the runaway car against the guard rail, stopping the vehicle and giving state troopers the opportunity to arrest the driver and passengers. The suspects had been going more than 100 miles per hour during the 20-minute chase.
- Ryan Moody, a driver from Tacoma, Wash., who helped to save an injured motorcyclist. While driving in Chicago, Moody saw the cyclist crash, maneuvered his truck to avoid hitting the unconscious person, who was bleeding from a head injury, then positioned his truck to protect him from other vehicles. Moody used wrapped his shirt around the injured motorcyclist's head to prevent further blood loss, while calming bystanders. The motorcyclist survived.
"Each is a hero in his own right and a credit to his profession," Medalis said.