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Chosen from four finalists,
Jason Harte of
Rogers, Ark., accepted the 30
th Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award during the Mid-America Trucking Show in
Harte, who works for
Missoula, Mont.-based Sammons Trucking, was driving down an interstate last July when he saw a speeding pickup truck push a minivan off the road and slam into another car, pushing it to the highway median.
Bystanders helped the car's driver while Harte approached the van. He saw a man and woman holding a six-month-old baby. They were frantically trying to get out of the vehicle. Harte also noticed that three other children were trapped inside the van. He dialed 911, helped the man, woman and baby out of the van, and then rescued the most accessible of the three other children.
Working with other bystanders, Harte – a former paramedic – opened the van's back hatch and performed first aid on the next child, then pulled her out through the door. He pulled apart seats and cut seatbelts to rescue the remaining child. Calling upon his EMT experience, Harte helped rescue crews tend to the victims' injuries – which ranged from broken legs to internal bleeding – until ambulances could whisk them away.
Jason Harte's quick thinking and brave actions rescued a family of six from a terrible situation," said
Gary Medalis, director of marketing, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems.
"Jason's decision to offer assistance is a powerful example of the selflessness exhibited by professional truck drivers. Because of his actions, lives, in all probability, were saved. For this, Jason has earned the right to be called a hero."