Goodyear announces winners in 40th anniversary Highway Hero program

Goodyear announces winners in 40th anniversary Highway Hero program

Winners highlight the important role truckers play in keeping our highways safe by going above and beyond to help those in need.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced two winners in the 40th anniversary Goodyear Highway Hero program. Since 1983, Goodyear has given out this award to recognize commercial drivers who go above and beyond their regular duties to keep our highways safe by acting courageously for the good of others on roadways across the U.S. and Canada.

This year’s winners were Timothy VanNostrand (pictured above right) and Elijah Ramos (left).

“In 2023, we asked for nominations of commercial drivers who went above and beyond to help others on the road,” said Rich Cottrell, senior director of commercial marketing at Goodyear. “The stories submitted this year reinforced the important job that commercial drivers play in our everyday lives, and illustrate in heroic ways the powerful impact professional drivers can have on the roads, individual lives and communities when they help others.”
The grand prize winners and runners-up in this year’s program faced different challenges in the course of their duty but, in a similar fashion, jumped in to help, regardless of danger or situation.

In June 2023, VanNostrand, an owner/operator of his own logging transport company from Northville, New York, used his logging truck to block the suspect’s escape, following a New York State Trooper traffic stop that escalated into a shootout. In those 12 minutes, gunfire exchanged between the trooper and the assailant, before the suspect fled into nearby woods, pursued by police. Thanks to VanNostrand’s swift response, the impact was contained, sparing drivers and pedestrians, Goodyear shared.

“I’m just grateful to have been in the right place at the right time and place to prevent the situation from being much, much worse, as my seemingly normal Friday route turned something that you only see on television,” he said.

In September 2023, Elijah Ramos (left), a driver for Ryder System, Inc., was on his morning route in Victorville, California. As he drove through a remote desert area, he witnessed an SUV lose control, cross multiple lanes of traffic and crash into a field. Ramos assessed the situation and alerted his dispatcher. He stayed with the injured young woman until help arrived, ensuring a swift response in the isolated location.

“Since it was such a remote area, it could have been a long time until help arrived,” said Ramos. “I was glad to be there when it happened and to call for help quickly.” Afterward, he went back to work and resumed his route.

After a nationwide call for entries, finalists were identified and reviewed by a panel of independent industry judges to help select VanNostrand and Ramos as the grand prize winners. They will receive prizes from Goodyear in recognition of their heroic actions. After review, two additional finalists will be recognized as runners-up and receive their own Goodyear prizes.

The runners-up are:

  • Joshua Day, an ABF Freight driver from Potsdam, Ohio, sprang into action when a driver’s truck and camper spun out of control, flipped and landed on the side of a busy road. Day swiftly pulled over, assisted the injured driver and ensured their safety by moving them away from a hazardous propane leak until first responders arrived.
  • Russel Peasley, a Brakebush Transportation driver from Necedah, Wisconsin, witnessed a car veer off a busy interstate, flip and land in a field. He joined other drivers to lift the car and rescue the trapped driver. After freeing her, Peasley stayed by her side, providing comfort until emergency medical services arrived.

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