After a nationwide call for entries, Goodyear Highway Hero finalists were identified and reviewed by a panel of independent industry judges to help select VanNostrand and Ramos as the grand prize winners.  -  HDT Graphic from Goodyear Images

After a nationwide call for entries, Goodyear Highway Hero finalists were identified and reviewed by a panel of independent industry judges to help select VanNostrand and Ramos as the grand prize winners.

HDT Graphic from Goodyear Images

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has named two drivers winners for their courage on the road in the 40th anniversary Goodyear Highway Hero program.

Since 1983, Goodyear has recognized commercial drivers who keep highways safe by acting courageously for the good of others.

The grand prize winners and runners-up in this year's program faced different challenges in the course of their duty but jumped in to help, regardless of danger or situation:

Trucker Assists Trooper in Shootout

Timothy VanNostrand sprang into action during a New York State Trooper traffic stop that escalated into a shootout.  -  Photo: Goodyear

Timothy VanNostrand sprang into action during a New York State Trooper traffic stop that escalated into a shootout.

Photo: Goodyear

In June 2023, Timothy VanNostrand, an owner-operator of his own logging transport company from Northville, New York, sprang into action during a New York State Trooper traffic stop that escalated into a shootout.

VanNostrand used his logging truck to block the suspect's escape. In an intense 12 minutes, gunfire was exchanged between the trooper and the assailant. The suspect fled into nearby woods, pursued by police.

Thanks to VanNostrand’s swift response, the impact was contained, sparing motorists and pedestrians.

"I'm just grateful to have been in the right place at the right time and place to prevent the situation from being much, much worse, as my seemingly normal Friday route turned something that you only see on television,” he said.

Responding to Crash

Elijah Ramos responded to a crash in a remote desert area.  -  Photo: Goodyear

Elijah Ramos responded to a crash in a remote desert area.

Photo: Goodyear

In September 2023, Elijah Ramos, a driver for Ryder Systemwas on his morning route in Victorville, California. As he drove through a remote desert area, he witnessed an SUV lose control, cross multiple lanes of traffic and crash into a field.

Ramos assessed the situation and promptly alerted his dispatcher. He stayed with the injured young woman until help arrived, ensuring a swift response in the isolated location.

"Since it was such a remote area, it could have been a long time until help arrived," said Ramos. "I was glad to be there when it happened and to call for help quickly."

Afterward, he went back to work and resumed his route.

Goodyear Highway Hero Finalists

After a nationwide call for entries, finalists were identified and reviewed by a panel of independent industry judges (including HDT Editor and Associate Publisher Deborah Lockridge) to help select VanNostrand and Ramos as the grand prize winners. They will receive prizes from Goodyear in recognition of their heroic actions.

Two additional finalists have been recognized as runners-up and receive their own Goodyear prizes. The runners-up are:

Joshua Day, an ABF Freight driver from Potsdam, Ohio, sprang into action when a motorist's truck and camper spun out of control, flipped and landed on the side of a busy road. Day swiftly pulled over, assisted the injured driver and ensured their safety by moving them away from a hazardous propane leak until first responders arrived.

Russel Peasley, a Brakebush Transportation driver from Necedah, Wisconsin, witnessed a car veer off a busy interstate, flip and land in a field. He joined other drivers to lift the car and rescue the trapped driver. After freeing her, Peasley stayed by her side, providing comfort until emergency medical services arrived.

"The stories submitted this year reinforced the important job that commercial drivers play in our everyday lives and illustrate in heroic ways the powerful impact professional drivers can have on the roads, individual lives and communities when they help others,” said Rich Cottrell, senior director, commercial marketing for Goodyear.

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