Overdrive Staff | January 04, 2011

The driver, 18, had been having a seizure and seemed incoherent. Cooper called 911 and held the driver’s tongue back so he wouldn’t choke. Cooper called the mother of the driver and passenger, who are brothers. When paramedics arrived, he helped restrain the young driver who was seizing.

“If I can save a life, spare a life, that’s what I’m here for,” said Cooper. He added that the incident seemed oddly familiar to him because while driving in Florida in 2006, he had also stopped to help a driver suffering a seizure.

– Staff reports

Techs win thousands of dollars at Rush Rodeo

Chris Zweifel is the 2010 Rush Tech Skills Rodeo heavy duty grand champion of the two-day contest held in Rush Truck Center in San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 13-14.

Zweifel has worked for a decade with the Rush El Paso, Texas, Peterbilt store, following a career in maintenance in the U.S. Army.

San Antonio-based Rush technician Matthew Pogue won the medium-duty crown. Between them, they bagged cash and prizes valued at $38,000, including an all-expenses-paid trip for each technician and a spouse to the Grand Cayman Islands, among other prizes.

The 2010 competition was the fifth for Rush Enterprises, owner of the largest network of Peterbilt dealers in the United States, as well as several International dealerships integrated under the Rush Truck Centers brand.

Technicians were scored on proper procedure, time and repair success by manufacturer representatives.

— Todd Dills

Rush Tech Skills Rodeo Results

Heavy Duty

• Grand Champion ($5,000) Chris Zweifel,

El Paso, Texas

• Reserve Grand Champion ($2,500)

Jason Morris, Flagstaff, Ariz.

• Third ($1,000) Erick Lincoln, Albuquerque, N.M.


• First ($5,000) Erick Lincoln, Albuquerque, N.M.

• Second ($4,000) Chris Zweifel, El Paso, Texas

• Third ($3,000) Jason Morris, Flagstaff, Ariz.


• First ($5,000) James Collins, Ft. Worth, Texas

• Second ($4,000) Ted Mazurkiewicz,

Pico Rivera, Calif.

• Third ($3,000) Shawn Thornton, Alice, Texas


• First ($5,000) Brian Noska, Sealy, Texas

• Second ($4,000) Jason Swann, Dallas

• Third ($3,000) Chris Jensen, Houston

Medium Duty

• Grand Champion ($5,000) Matthew Pogue,

San Antonio, Texas

• Reserve Grand Champion ($2,500)

James Glover, Houston

• Third ($1,000) Erick Lincoln, Albuquerque, N.M.

Medium Duty first stage

• First ($5,000) Matthew Pogue,

San Antonio, Texas

• Second ($4,000) Gabriel Benavides,

Fontana, Calif.

• Third ($3,000) James Glover, Houston


• First ($5,000) Alan Phillips, Pico Rivera, Calif.

• Second ($4,000) Nathan Buffington, Phoenix

• Third ($3,000) Travis Webster, Houston

FMCSA seeks handheld cell phone ban

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from reaching for, dialing or holding handheld cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce.

The announcement comes three months after FMCSA issued a final rule banning commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.

The proposal would fine drivers up to $2,750 in federal civil penalties for each offense and disqualify their commercial driver’s license for repeat offenses. Additionally, states would suspend a driver’s CDL after two or more violations of any state law on handheld cell phone use. Carriers that allow their drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving would face a maximum penalty of $11,000.

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