Channel 19

Todd Dills

Big rig successfully performs Heimlich maneuver

| April 28, 2008

We recently heard about a golden retriever successfully performing the Heimlich maneuver, but our “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” calendar just alerted us to an even more amazing news story we missed back in 2004: The Heimlich maneuver successfully performed iby a tractor-trailer.

The short version: The driver of a Ford F-350 on eastbound I-40 near Hickory, N.C., choked on his food and blacked out. His out-of-control pickup crossed the median into the westbound lanes, where it was clipped by a tractor-trailer. The impact dislodged the food from the man’s throat, saving his life. He regained consciousness in the wreckage, with only minor injuries.

The trucker, Michael Lambert of Ohio, wasn’t hurt, either. Wonder whether anyone nominated him for a Highway Hero or Highway Angel award?

The wire story is here at, which collects news of interest to fire-and-rescue folks. Unforgivably, the story doesn’t mention what the pickup driver was eating when he choked. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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