AKRON, Ohio, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A truck driver who rescued another trucker who had fallen from a burning tanker truck that was hanging over the side of a freeway overpass has been named the 31 st Goodyear Highway Hero.
Chosen from four finalists, Ivan Vasovic of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., today accepted the 31 st Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award during the Mid-America Trucking Show, which is taking place this week in Louisville, Ky. Vasovic was in his truck in Los Angeles, Calif., last October when he witnessed a double tanker truck hit the concrete divider of a freeway overpass, careen off a wall and slam into a guard rail. Its tanks, which were full of diesel, ripped open and the truck came to a stop with its tractor and first tanker hanging over the side of the overpass. The truck's driver was trapped inside when the diesel ignited. The driver, now on fire, kicked out a window, slid down the truck and fell to the ground, breaking an arm and leg. By that point, the suspended truck was engulfed in flames with black clouds of smoke billowing from it. Vasovic and another bystander tried to pull the injured driver to safety. However, due to the intense heat, they could only drag him a few yards at a time. Vasovic dashed back to his truck and poured water on himself, which enabled him to drag the badly injured driver 20 yards away from his original position. Moments later, the burning truck crashed to the ground.