Channel 19

Todd Dills

New highway hero

| March 30, 2009

“I don’t wear a cape, I don’t have a mask. I can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. I’m no hero.” Such were the words of Pennsylvania-based trucker George Lantzy in a March 18 broadcast segment from ABC 7 news in Arlington, Va. (video is embedded below). He was responding to reports hailing him as a hero for a daring move he made in his rig to keep unconscious Joanne Haplin of Steubenville, Ohio, from swerving over the median on US 22 in West Virginia into oncoming traffic.

Lantzy says he noticed she was unconscious after pulling alongside her white sedan, after which he sped up and got in front of her car to slow it down with his trailer and brakes. One more remarkable thing about the whole incident is that it was caught at least partly on police video, some of which is in the segment below. Lantzy deserves a nomination for next year’s Goodyear Highway Hero award, wouldn’t you say? (As a side note, the owner-operator I wrote about a couple weeks back eventually was named for the highest honor at the Mid-America Trucking Show. More info here.)
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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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