Lindsay Transport driver Darren Cooke has been presented with the Australian Trucking Association’s Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian honour, after rescuing a fellow truck driver from a fire.
Travelling north on the Hume Highway in early February, Mr Cooke came across a multi-vehicle accident after a B-Double ran out of room to avoid a stricken vehicle, colliding and then rolling near Yerrinbool, NSW.
Mr Cooke brought his own truck safely to a stop and came to the other driver’s aid, pulling him from the cabin as the truck caught alight.
The swift actions of Mr Cooke meant only minor injuries were sustained by those involved in the accident and earned him the title of Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian.
According to Australian Trucking Association Chairman, Geoff Crouch, accidents like this highlight the potential danger all those in the industry face.
“Darren Cooke was selfless in helping others get to safety, and it is fitting for him to be named a Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian. His actions helped prevent the loss of a life that morning,” Mr Crouch said.
“Any time a truck is involved in an accident, it’s a serious matter, but when a truck ends up on its side and becomes engulfed in flames, it has the potential to end in tragic circumstances. Thankfully we have Highway Guardians such as Darren Cooke on our roads who are willing to put others ahead of themselves.”
Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Stephen Roche, agreed Mr Cooke’s actions went above and beyond.
“There is no denying Darren Cooke is deserving of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade, and we’re delighted to recognise his selfless actions,” Mr Roche said.
“Mr Cooke’s story is a reminder that innocent drivers can be caught out by external factors on the road. It shows that even drivers doing the right thing are subject to scenarios beyond their control.
“With National Road Safety Week just around the corner, it highlights the importance of ensuring we are always alert and vigilant on the roads so that we can respond to accidents.”
The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian recognises the unsung heroes of the trucking industry, highlighting those who go above and beyond when faced with adversity. It is has become one of the highest honours of the Australian Trucking Association.
Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand will also celebrate previous recipients of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award with an honorary wall on its stand at the Brisbane Truck Show.