The winner of the 2011 Goodyear Highway Hero Award has been honored again – this time by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Michael Schiotis was among 22 individual to receive a Carnegie Medal, awarded to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
The Tennessee resident rescued Anna H. Trently from assault in Pennsylvania on November 1, 2011.
Trently, age 41 at the time, was being pursued by an armed man as she drove on an interstate highway at night. At one point, the man pulled his car beside hers and shot out the window of the front passenger door. As she attempted to make a U-turn on the highway, the man approached her car on foot, opened its driver’s door, and pointed a gun at her. He attempted to shoot her, but when the gun malfunctioned, he struck her in the head with it.
As the 44 year-old Schiotis approached the scene, he slowed his tractor-trailer to a stop for what he thought was a traffic accident. Bloodied, the woman ran toward his rig, followed by the assailant. She pounded on its driver’s door and screamed for help. Schiotis jumped from the cab, grasped Trently, and positioned himself between her and the assailant. He kept the assailant at bay as Trently climbed into the cab. Turning his back to the assailant, Schiotis followed her.
He drove from the scene and called police, who told him to respond to a truck stop five miles ahead. Schiotis did so, but on finding that the assailant was following in his vehicle, Schiotis continued on the highway, driving such as to block him. Police caught up to them seven miles beyond the truck stop and apprehended the assailant. Trently required hospitalization for treatment of her injuries, and she recovered.
Each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. In the around 100 years of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, nearly 9,600 winners of the Carnegie Medal have been named. It was started by Pittsburgh steelmaker Andrew Carnegie to recognize acts of civilian heroism.
Since receiving the Highway Hero award Schiotis has also been honored by the Pennsylvania State Police.