Goodyear North America Highway Hero saves people stuck on train tracks
*Jaime Avitia, of El Paso, Texas, a driver for Stagecoach Cartage. Early in the morning of Aug. 31, 2010, Avitia was driving on I-10 on his way to a company facility in Laredo, Texas.
Beneath I-10 at this point is Highway 17 and a dead-end service road, where he noticed a pickup truck driving at high speed. He watched as the pickup suddenly left the roadway, hit a concrete drainage culvert nose-first, flipped into the air and landed upright. Avitia quickly stopped his truck, grabbed a flashlight and first-aid kit, and ran down the embankment toward the accident. Upon reaching the truck, he opened the front door, but couldn’t find anyone inside.
He then realized the driver – not wearing a seatbelt – had been thrown into the back seat of the crew cab. Unable to find a pulse, Avitia was able to kneel on the front seat, squeeze between the arm rests and administer CPR on the man. After four chest compressions, the man finally coughed and began to breathe. As another man approached the wrecked pickup, Avitia told him to call 911. Until paramedics arrived, Avitia applied a towel and gauze to the man’s bleeding head and kept him comfortable.
*Bill Howard, of Litchfield, Neb., a driver for Howard Transportation. As Howard drove on Highway 2 near Ravenna, Neb. on May 22, 2010, a car crossed the center line and struck his rig that included a grain trailer.
The female driver had fallen asleep, allowing the car to drift into the truck’s drive wheels, then underneath the trailer before coming to rest alongside the road. When Howard stopped his truck to check on the condition of the driver, he found she had sustained life-threatening injuries, including a nearly severed arm, two broken legs, and injuries to her face and head.
Keeping his cool, Howard was able to call for emergency assistance, along with providing assurance to the severely injured driver as she awaited treatment. Two firefighters who were en route to a training class came upon the accident and helped Howard in the efforts to save the woman’s life.
*David Nelson, of Orlando, Fla., a driver for Werner Enterprises. On Feb. 2, 2010, while driving on I-20 near Birmingham, Ala., Nelson was flagged down by a woman who had just lost control of her vehicle and hit a road sign. Nelson pulled over his truck when no one else was willing to help, despite the woman’s pleas. Upon stopping, he approached the car and discovered the woman’s seven-year-old daughter was not breathing.
To make matters more intense, he learned the child had a previous heart condition, and had experienced trauma during the accident. A certified EMT for 25 years, Nelson placed the girl on the ground and performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived. Because of his quick actions, the girl is alive and healthy.
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