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Goodyear names 32nd highway hero

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A truck driver who saved a law enforcement official from being strangled by a prisoner was named the 32nd Goodyear Highway Hero.

Chosen from three finalists, Clinton Blackburn of Morehead, Ky., accepted the 32nd Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), which took place March 26-28 in Louisville, Ky.

Blackburn was driving near Elizabethtown, Ky., last year when he observed a sheriff’s cruiser lurch toward the highway median and abruptly stop. He pulled up to investigate and noticed that the car’s driver side door was open. Inside, the driver, Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon, was being strangled from behind by a prisoner, who was leaning over the back seat.

Blackburn ran to the car, reached into the vehicle through its driver side door, and began struggling with the prisoner in an effort to free Herndon, who was immobilized by his seat belt. During the melee, the prisoner pulled Herndon’s gun from its holster. Blackburn immediately grabbed the barrel of the gun and pointed it toward the car’s dashboard. Meanwhile, Herndon released his seat belt and rolled out of the car. The prisoner then tried to point the gun at Blackburn, who turned the weapon around and aimed it at the prisoner.

Pointing the gun at the prisoner, Blackburn backed away from the car. Realizing that the cruiser’s keys were still in the ignition, the prisoner tried to start the car and drive away. Working together, Blackburn and Herndon subdued him.

“Clinton’s brave, decisive actions ensured that Darrell would be home with his family that night,” said Gary Medalis, marketing director, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems.

“Clinton acted without regard for his own safety, literally putting himself in harm’s way to save another person,” Medalis said. “His decision to get involved is a powerful example of the selflessness and courage exhibited by professional truck drivers. He has earned the right to be called a Goodyear Highway Hero.”

As the 32nd Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner, Blackburn receives a special Highway Hero ring, a $5,000 prize and other items.

For more information about the Goodyear Highway Hero Award and to read about past Highway Hero Award winners, click here.

To read about the three finalists for 2015, read: Goodyear names highway hero finalists.

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