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Prime Mover Magazine


Bandag Highway Guardian emerges from flames

From a multi-vehicle accident on the Hume Highway a hero has emerged.

His name, Darren Cooke, a Lindsay Transport driver, was travelling north outside Yerrinbool, NSW, when he came across the aftermath of an incident involving a B-double.

The B-double had rolled after the driver tried to avoide a troubled vehicle which had stopped.

Cooke, who had rescued the driver from the cab before it was engulfed in flames, has been presented with the Australian Trucking Association's Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award. 

Because of his heroic actions the driver of the B-double sustained only minor injuries.

Geoff Crouch, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman said accidents like this highlight the potential danger all those in the industry face.

“Darren Cooke was selfless in helping others get to safety, and it is fitting for him to be named a Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian. His actions helped prevent the loss of a life that morning,” he said.

“Any time a truck is involved in an accident, it’s a serious matter, but when a truck ends up on its side and becomes engulfed in flames, it has the potential to end in tragic circumstances," said Crouch.

"Thankfully we have Highway Guardians such as Darren Cooke on our roads who are willing to put others ahead of themselves.”

Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Stephen Roche, agreed Mr Cooke’s actions went above and beyond.

“There is no denying Darren Cooke is deserving of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade, and we’re delighted to recognise his selfless actions,” he said in a statement.

“Mr Cooke’s story is a reminder that innocent drivers can be caught out by external factors on the road. It shows that even drivers doing the right thing are subject to scenarios beyond their control."

“With National Road Safety Week just around the corner, it highlights the importance of ensuring we are always alert and vigilant on the roads so that we can respond to accidents.”

The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian recognises the unsung heroes of the trucking industry, highlighting those who go above and beyond when faced with adversity.

Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand will also celebrate previous recipients of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award with an honorary wall on its stand at the Brisbane Truck Show.

(Image: Darren Cooke, Lindsay Transport).

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