Big rig successfully performs Heimlich maneuver

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

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.