LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Goodyear’s 24th North America Highway Hero Edward A. Regener, of Perris, Calif., escaped one fire and jumped into another to save the lives of two men trapped in their burning car.
The FedEx Freight truck driver scrambled from the passenger door of his damaged cab; a burning pickup truck was lodged against his driver’s door, blocking an easy exit. To make matters worse, his twin trailers contained hazardous materials that would contribute to the spread of a toxic fire.
Incredibly, thanks to Regener and some other motorists, all lives were saved.
Regener, a 13-year veteran truck driver, was named the 2006 Highway Hero here March 22 at the annual banquet of the Truck Writers of North America held in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show. His quick thinking on Interstate 10 near Phoenix on Nov. 4, 2006, assuredly saved his life and the lives of two men who caused the tragic accident.
Regener was chosen from four finalists. The other finalists included:
• Elizabeth Pavlista of Miami, Ariz., driver for B.J. Cecil Trucking Inc. Pavlista rescued a woman from her burning car after it rolled down an embankment on Arizona 177 on Aug. 8. The woman died from her injuries.
• Richard Miner, of Phoenix, driver for Saia Motor Freight. Miner saved a woman’s life when her car crashed, rolled and burned in the Interstate 10 median near Phoenix on Sept. 28.
• Marlon Marum, of Burnsville, Minn., driver for Con-way Freight. Marum saved a Metro Transit police officer who was attacked by a drug suspect in downtown Minneapolis on Oct. 6.
For a full report on the award, including an interview with Regener, see the April 15 issue of The Trucker.
For more on Goodyear’s Highway Hero program and to nominate a truck driver for the 25th anniversary of the award, go to http://www.goodyear.com/truck/whatsnew/hero_overview.html.— The Trucker News Services