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Driver’s Alertness/Quick Thinking Earns Hero Award

Driver’s Alertness and Quick Thinking Earns Hero Award

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Awareness of what was happening on the road behind his truck and concern for the safety of other road users, has resulted in Ngaruawahia heavy truck driver Sonny Roberts winning the 2007 Beaurepaires Highway Heroes Award.

He was presented with a trophy and cheque for $5,000 by Minister for Road Safety, Harry Duynhoven at Parliament today.

He was nominated in May for the award, which is sponsored by the Police, Beaurepaires, LTNZ and NZ Trucking Magazine, after assisting a fellow heavy truck driver in distress from an angina attack.

Sonny was southbound at Rangiriri in the North Waikato when he noticed the truck behind him weaving on the road. It was moving around enough to cause him concern both for the driver and for oncoming traffic.

He called the truck on his CB and received a faint response from the driver who indicated he was feeling unwell and might need an ambulance.

As Sonny prepared to use his truck as a brake to slow the following truck, the driver managed to slow and stop. By the time Sonny got to him, he was slumped over the wheel.

Sonny called 111 and was talked through the first aid to help the driver until the ambulance arrived. If it had not been for Sonny’s intervention, the driver’s angina attack may have led to a tragic accident. The driver was taken to hospital and recovered.

He was one of nine nominees for this year’s award all of whom had carried out humanitarian, brave or heroic acts during the course of their work. Others were truck drivers Russell Nathan of Helensville, Simon Evans of Hastings, Rangi Watling of Taupo and Tom Page Junior of Wellington and bus drivers Steven Luscombe, Yasser Ahmad, Thomas Roebuck and Ralph Davies all of Christchurch.

Now in its eighth year, Beaurepaires Highway Heroes programme recognises brave, heroic or humanitarian deeds performed by professional truck or bus drivers in the course of their work. Anyone can nominate a hero through www.highway-heroes.co.nz or highway-heroes@xtra.co.nz


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