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ATA awards driver for selfless act

The Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award has been presented to a driver from waste management company, Suez, for his swift action to avoid a major accident on Sydney’s M5 motorway.

Suez employee, Darell Wilson, was praised by the trucking community and general public earlier this year for his actions to avoid a bus full of school children pulling out in-front of his truck on one of Sydney’s busiest arterial roads in June, and was recognised on 13 December with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award.

Wilson intentionally turned his semi-trailer towards a concrete barrier and jack-knifed in order to wash off speed and avoid the bus as it pulled out into oncoming traffic.

The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award recognises and honours the heroic actions of Kurrajong resident Wilson for ensuring what could have been a fatal accident did not occur.

Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Andrew Moffatt, admired Wilson’s selfless act to avoid endangering the lives of others.

“Darell Wilson is a credit to Suez,” said Moffatt.

“His split second decision prevented a major accident from taking place.

“The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award recognises those in the trucking industry who go above and beyond the call of duty, and to put his own life on the line to save those on the bus was an incredibly noble feat. Mr Wilson is a truly deserving recipient of the accolade.

“Many of the previous Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardians have been recognised for assistance at crash sites. Being able to prevent an accident occurring in the first place makes the term ‘Highway Guardian’ even more relevant,” he said.

Wilson was also recently recognised by industry body, the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association NSW, by way of a Safety Award for the same reason.

ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch, also extended his praise for Wilson.

“Truck drivers are under constant pressure on the road, but the last thing Darell Wilson would have expected was to see a bus pulling out in front of him,” said Crouch.

“Thankfully, due to his quick thinking and incredible vehicle control, Mr Wilson prevented an accident occurring, demonstrated the importance and benefit of proper driver training and highlighted how crucial it is to remain vigilant on the roads,” he said.

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