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March 6, 2022 12:57 PM, EST

Goodyear Awards Illinois Truck Driver Its Highway Hero Honor

Gerald Wright, Gary SchroederGerald Wright (left) receives a check from Gary Schroeder after receiving the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Highway Hero on March 6. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ORLANDO, Fla. — A truck driver who rescued motorists from a burning vehicle was honored by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. as the winner of its 2020-2021 Highway Hero Award.

Gerald “Andy” Wright from Jacksonville, Ill., encountered a vehicle that was on fire while traveling along Illinois Route 3.



With only a fire extinguisher and load bar, he battled the fire, then broke the vehicle’s sunroof to pull two trapped occupants to safety.

Gerald Wright

Wright addresses the crowd at TMC. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

By the time they were rescued, the vehicle was engulfed in fire.

 

Wright was presented with the award during the Technology & Maintenance Council 2022 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

“From the moment I saw the flames, all I could think about was what I could do to help those inside the car get to safety,” he said. “I’m honored to be given this award from Goodyear, and at the end of the day I feel very fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to help those in need.”

Since 1983, the Highway Hero program has celebrated professional truck drivers who act selflessly for the good of others on highways across North America.

Wright received a monetary reward and other prizes.

“There is no question that Andy’s actions directly saved the lives of those who were in severe danger,” said Gary Schroeder, executive director of Cooper Commercial at Goodyear.

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