Independent owner-operator Jorge Orozco Sanchez of Firestone, Colo. (pictured with his wife in a Denver Post file photo), was featured Saturday in the Post in a story about nominations for this year’s Goodyear Highway Hero award, to be awarded at MATS Thursday. The Post wrote about Sanchez in October last year, when he rescued four-year-old Peyton Nicklas and her one-year-old sister, Morgan, from the fiery wreckage of their mother’s SUV, which had collided with his truck. Tragically, the mother had been killed instantly.
Other nominations for this year’s Highway Hero include:
**UPS Driver Roy Hackett of Nashville, Tenn., who helped rescue occupants of a burning care on I-75 near Chattanooga in April 2008.
**UPS Driver Willie Wilson of Santa Clara, Calif., who rescued an injured driver from a rollover and fire.
**And the team of FedEx ground contract drivers Nikolay Zashev, of Franklin Park, Ill., and Tihomir Tanev, of Schiller Park, Ill., for their rescue of the driver of a van that crashed into their rig, pulling doubles, on I-80 in Iowa, then spinning out of control, across the median and into the opposite lanes, where it caught fire.
Goodyear’s first Highway Hero was named in 1983 — Ronnie Stapleton of Beckley, W.Va., who performed a daring rescue of two motorists trapped unconscious in a burning car, which I remember well researching for Truckers News 30th anniversary package of stories in 2007.