Goodyear Highway Hero recipient wasn’t seeking the spotlight

March 22, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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Photos by Tyson Fisher
Goodyear Marketing Director Gary Medalis stands with Highway Hero finalists Frank Vieira, Brian Bucenell, and Ryan Moody. The three truck drivers were honored during a ceremony at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

LOUISVILLE, Ky – Frank Vieira didn’t want to be owed anything. He didn’t want to be viewed as a hero.

But Vieira’s hero status won’t fade anytime soon. The truck driver from Canada was honored with the 35th annual Goodyear Highway Hero Award on Thursday, March 22, during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky, after saving a man’s life.

Last year, Vieira was driving in an unfamiliar route near Toronto when he heard a crash involving a car and another truck. When he arrived at the car, he discovered that the driver’s neck was pierced by a piece of the steering wheel. Vieira applied pressure to the wound and notified emergency services about the accident. During this time, another person arrived at the scene and fainted after seeing all of the blood. Using one hand to apply pressure and the other call for help, Vieira used his leg to move the fainted bystander out of traffic.

Vieira was told that the man survived, but the two haven’t met since that day.

“I didn’t want to keep in touch. I’d hate to have someone feel like they owe me,” Vieira said. “That is one thing that I specified. I don’t want to feel like a hero. But here I am, and I’m a hero. I was told he was good, and that’s all I wanted to know. He made it. The fire department was nice enough to call me and leave a message. They said ‘you don’t need to call us back, but we just want you to know that he made it.'”

Vieira wanted so little attention over the incident that he didn’t tell his wife of 25 years until two months later.

“I still can’t hear the end of it. She just doesn’t understand how I’m able to keep it inside.”

As part of the award, Vieira received $5,000, a trophy, and a special ring.

Brian Bucenell, of Richmond, Va., and Ryan Moody, of Tacoma, Wash., received cash prizes as finalists.

Bucenell used his truck to help end a high-speed chase involving state troopers and a stolen car. He merged onto the Ohio Turnpike near Toledo moments before he switched on his CB radio and overheard other truckers discussing a high-speed chase that was taking place not far from his location. Moments later, Bucenell spotted a group of state troopers in pursuit of a car, which was headed his way. As Bucenell’s tractor-trailer entered a construction zone, the stolen car attempted to pass him on the shoulder. Bucenell’s Peterbilt kept pace with the car and eventually sandwiched it against the guard rail, ending a 20-minute chase that reached speeds faster than 100 mph. Troopers arrested the car’s driver and passengers, who were later charged with motor vehicle theft.

Moody helped save the life of a badly injured motorcyclist. After witnessing the crash, Moody positioned his truck to block traffic and jumped out to help. He wrapped his own shirt around the head of the victim and stayed with him until help arrived.

This was the 35th consecutive year from Goodyear to honor truck drivers who perform heroic deeds.

“The award was established to honor truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others,” said Gary Medalis, Goodyear’s marketing director. “Over more than three decades, truck drivers have saved children from drowning, police officers from crazed individuals, and have rescued people from burning vehicles that exploded. These guys are all heroes. Every truck driver we’ve met over the years are all true heroes.”

 

 

WWWilliams

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.