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Driver who saved cop from prisoner named Goodyear's Highway Hero

Clint Blackburn, a Kentucky driver who saved a law enforcement official from an attack by a hostile prisoner, was named the 32nd Goodyear Highway Hero recently at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. He won $5,000, a trophy and a Highway Hero ring.

Finalists David Fredericksen, a driver from Windermere, Fla., and Mack Guffey, a driver from Gainesboro, Tenn., were present for the announcement and won $1,000 each.

Blackburn was grateful to receive the award because "we don't get a lot of spotlight on truckers," he said. "I thank the good Lord for putting me where he did."

"Clinton acted without regard for his own safety, literally putting himself in harm's way to save another person," said Gary Medalis, marketing director for Goodyear's commercial tires. "His decision to get involved is a powerful example of the selflessness and courage exhibited by professional truck drivers."

Blackburn was driving near Elizabethtown, Ky., last year when he observed a sheriff's cruiser lurch toward the median and abruptly stop. He stopped and discovered the driver, Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon, being strangled by a prisoner in the back seat.

After Blackburn began struggling with the prisoner, the prisoner pulled Herndon's gun from its holster. Blackburn grabbed the barrel and pointed it toward the dashboard. Meanwhile, Herndon released his seat belt and rolled out of the car.

Blackburn gained control of the pistol and held the prisoner at gunpoint. As Blackburn backed away from the car, the prisoner tried to start it to escape, but Blackburn and Herndon subdued him.

Fredericksen and Guffey were involved with separate incidents where a wrecked vehicle caught on fire. Both used fire extinguishers to repel flames and then rescued one or more passengers.


Figuring Out Why Drivers Quit

Over the years, there has been a major problem in the trucking industry over driver turnover and the driver shortage that carriers face.


Over the years, there has been a major problem in the trucking industry over driver turnover and the driver shortage that carriers face.

Figuring Out Why Drivers Quit

Doroga Road Magazine cover. Current Issue.
Doroga Road Magazine cover. Current Issue.

There is not a driver shortage; there is a problem concerning why carriers cannot keep drivers long term.

There are always surveys and studies that ask for answers only from the carriers. Carrier solutions range from very small pay increases, in-house commercial driver license training schools and the purchases of trucks with autoshift transmissions.

If the trucking industry wants to retain drivers and solve the driver-shortage problem, it is time for a study that asks drivers why they quit.

Unfortunately, I have never seen any kind of study seeking information from the drivers.

A relationship between a trucking company and a driver is like a "marriage." When a company and driver break off their relationship, it is much like a divorce, where both sides have their own reasons for the breakup.

It is time that American Trucking Associations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration question both sides for a resolution to this problem, not just carriers.

It takes an explanation from both parties to make any kind of conclusion as to why the relationship did not work out not just a reason from one side.

It's time to talk to the drivers and find out why they quit.

Spend your research money on speaking to the drivers and learn the real reasons to solve the myth about driver shortage and driver turnover problems.

Richard Marsh