A trucker hero from Kentucky who saved a law enforcement officer from being strangled was one of three finalists named this month by the Goodyear Tire Company for its 2014 Highway Hero Award.
Truck drivers are often the first responders to the scene of highway accidents and crimes. Clinton Blackburn, a driver from Morehead, put himself in harm’s way last March to help a jailer who had been transporting a prisoner.
Blackburn was driving near Elizabethtown, Ky., when he observed a sheriff’s cruiser lurch toward the highway median and abruptly stop. He pulled up to investigate and noticed that the car’s driver side door was open. Inside, Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon was being choked from behind by a prisoner who was leaning through the glass from the back seat.
Blackburn ran to the car, reached into the vehicle through its driver side door, and began struggling with the prisoner in an effort to free Herndon. During the melee, the prisoner pulled Herndon’s gun from its holster. Blackburn grabbed the barrel of the gun and pointed it toward the car’s dashboard.
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“The prisoner then tried to point the gun at Blackburn, who turned the weapon around and aimed it at the prisoner,” reports Goodyear. Herndon finally regained his composure and helped to subdue the man.
(WATCH the interview with Blackburn from WKYT)
The second of three Highway Hero finalists rescued a grandmother and child from a fiery crash in Gulfport, Mississippi last August. The story and video, featured on the Good News Network, describes the dramatic rescue recorded by dash cam in David Fredericksen’s truck. All the drivers in other cars were seemingly paralyzed, assuming the driver must have died in the explosion, but Fredericksen, of Windermere, Florida, heads toward the fireball with his fire extinguisher and finds survivors amid the smoke.
Mack Guffey, a driver from Gainesboro, Tennessee was also nominated for rescuing a severely injured driver from a burning vehicle near New York City.
The 32nd annual Goodyear Highway Hero Award ceremony will be held March 26, during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. The winner will receive a special ring, cash prize and other gifts.