Elijah Ramos, a driver for Ryder System Inc., from Victorville, California, was named a winner of this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero award. As he drove through a remote desert area, Ramos witnessed a crash and sprang into action, assessing the situation and comforting an injured woman until help arrived.

Five Good Things: Goodyear and TCA recognize heroic truck drivers

March 8, 2024
Averitt and Bendix celebrate donations, WIT names March 2024 Member of the Month, and Goodyear and TCA recognize truck drivers for heroic acts.

It’s always important to recognize truck drivers and their hard work, especially when drivers go above and beyond to help others. Read about three drivers and their courageous deeds in this week’s Five Good Things.

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Goodyear announces winners of 40th anniversary Highway Hero program

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recently announced two winners in the 40th anniversary Goodyear Highway Hero program. Since 1983, Goodyear has recognized commercial drivers who go above and beyond their regular duties to keep our highways safe by acting for the good of others on roadways across the U.S. and Canada. The winners are Timothy VanNostrand and Elijah Ramos. 

The winners in this year’s program faced different challenges during their duty but jumped in to help, regardless of the danger or situation.

In June 2023, Timothy VanNostrand, an owner-operator of his own logging transport company from Northville, New York, turned hero. During a traffic stop that escalated into a shootout, VanNostrand sprang into action. He used his logging truck to block the suspect’s escape, preventing a potentially disastrous situation. In those 12 minutes, gunfire was exchanged between the trooper and the assailant. The suspect fled into nearby woods, pursued by police. Thanks to VanNostrand’s swift response, the impact was contained, sparing motorists and pedestrians. 

“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 into something that you only see on television,” VanNostrand said. 

In September 2023, Elijah Ramos, a driver for Ryder System, 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 sprang into action, assessing the situation and alerting his dispatcher. He stayed with the injured 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,” Ramos said. “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.

See also: Goodyear introduces new tires for regional delivery fleets

Averitt associates make record $1,500,001 donation to St. Jude

Truck drivers and other Averitt associates recently donated $1,500,001 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The record-breaking donation marks the fifth consecutive year Averitt’s associates gave at least $1 million to support St. Jude and its mission of curing childhood cancers. It’s also the ninth cstraightyear Averitt associates have either matched or broken their fundraising record.

The milestone was made possible through two avenues:

  1. The donation was funded by contributions from Averitt associates and retirees participating in Averitt Cares for Kids. More than 95% of associates are members of the charitable-giving organization.
  2. The donation was made possible by a $1 million company contribution in honor of associate accomplishments, milestones, life events, and participation in community service projects.  

“I’m humbled by the way our team comes together to help others, and partnership with St. Jude is one of the most important ways we do that,” Gary Sasser, Averitt chairman and CEO, said. “As has become the tradition for the last several years, the extra $1 in our donation represents what we call ‘The Power of One,’ showing the difference every person can make. Donations like these provide life-saving care to children in need, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to build our relationship with St. Jude in 2024 and the future.”

Women In Trucking celebrates March Member of the Month

The Women In Trucking Association named Tanya Miracle its March 2024 Member of the Month. Miracle is the director of Bridgestone Americas' OE truck channel.

Miracle lived in Ohio when she started her career as a dispatcher for Robert’s Express in 1993. From there, she worked for a tire mold company for a few years. She was married (and divorced) to an owner-operator who hauled oversized drop deck freight, so she understands the sacrifices and challenges faced by the families of long-haul drivers. 

When Miracle applied to Bridgestone for the consumer tires role, the interviewers introduced her to the commercial truck group. Since then, she has fallen in love with the people, the industry, the weather in Nashville, and her work. Miracle said: “It is a great industry to be in.”  

Miracle promotes from within and continues to break down the barriers for women in the industry. She creates pathways for women to succeed and ensures everyone has the tools to realize their full potential. Miracle has a progressive mindset and leverages her technical expertise as a previous design engineer to drive initiatives and innovative ideas to deliver solutions to her customers. She shares information and contacts to make Bridgestone a great place to develop talent and preserve a culture of camaraderie. 

In 2020, Miracle won an internal Bridgestone America award for being a part of the R213 team, and she was named a top woman to watch by Bridgestone in 2022. Her biggest advice? “Don’t be intimidated or come into the industry with a preconceived notion of what the trucking industry is; the societal stereotypes about ‘trucking’ are just not true.”

In the future, Miracle still sees herself in the trucking industry. She would like to do whatever she can to continue to move the trucking industry forward. “This industry was created by hard-working, driven people who move the world around us into the future every day,” Miracle said.

Bendix increased donations and volunteering in 2023

When it comes to serving their communities, Bendix and Bendix team members did more during 2023 than in previous years by awarding more than $1 million in grants and donations and exceeding the company’s goal of 9,000 employee volunteer hours.

During 2023, Bendix’s giving totaled approximately $492,000 in grants, donations, employee fundraisers, and Dollars for Doers incentives from the company and its employees to multiple diverse nonprofit organizations and community initiatives in the areas where Bendix operates in North America. Dollars for Doers rewards employees who volunteer with nonprofit organizations of their choosing.

In addition to its local outreach efforts, Bendix provided ground-level support for the corporate mission of Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America (KBGCNA), its parent company’s philanthropic organization in North America. During 2023, KBGCNA disbursed $559,090 in grant funding for projects and initiatives. This funding and other targeted Bendix programs and initiatives resulted in community support funding totaling about $1,051,000.

Furthermore, Bendix team members donated close to 9,500 service hours to company-sponsored volunteer events or through personal endeavors, an increase of close to 10% from 2022.

“Our community support efforts are firmly rooted in our culture,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix’s senior director of environmental, social, and governance. She noted that employee participation numbers are up 10% from the previous year. Employees across the organization dedicated more volunteer hours to more projects in more ways. It shows that our community support efforts are not one-off events but are part of who we are as an organization.”

Separately, Bendix’s Get Involved! program awarded $159,950 in grants to efforts and organizations that Bendix employees are currently supporting independently. Launched in 2015 to honor the anniversary of Knorr-Bremse Global Care, the grants reward employees’ volunteer activities with efforts located near Bendix locations. 

With this year’s awards, the amount of Get Involved! funding disbursed over the last nine years now stands at $1,140,570, supporting 405 projects and engaging 160 employees.

Of the $492,000 of corporate Bendix donations, 54% took the form of corporate grants and donations to local nonprofits or matching funds. About a third represented Bendix grants from the Get Involved! program, and approximately 13% were employee donations from Dollars for Doers and fundraising efforts.

Truck driver named TCA Highway Angel after helping family that crashed into a cow

The Truckload Carriers Association has named truck driver Paul Lamoureux from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, a TCA Highway Angel for helping a woman and her son after their car hit a cow and crashed in the middle of the night. Lamoureux drives for Bison Freight out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

On August 25, 2023, around 2:15 a.m., Lamoureux drove on Highway 200 near Circle, Montana. A car passed him and then crashed into a ditch, so he pulled over.   

“I passed the animal that they hit; I knew it was gonna be bad,” said Lamoureux, who has driven for Bison since 2015. “They hit a large cow that somehow got out of its fenced-off area. As they came over the crest of the hill, they nailed him.” 

The driver, Jamie Price, was returning home from vacation with her 18-year-old son to Fairchild, Wisconsin. She said they hit the cow, and it flew over the car.  

“You don’t think livestock is gonna be in the middle of the road,” Price said. “I can’t believe my son and I are alive.” 

Price and her son sustained extensive cuts and abrasions but no significant injuries. Lamoureux invited the crash victims into his truck and offered them some bandages to help clean the cuts and remove the glass from their wounds while they waited for the state troopers.  

“I’m so blessed and thankful that he was there,” said Price. “I don’t know what we would’ve done—he kept me safe.”

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

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