13 hero truckies that did us proud in 2019

IT'S NO secret that truck drivers are amazing people. In 2019 we celebrated many great heroes of the industry who have done absolutely amazing things. 

Here are just a few that we profiled over the year. 

Well done guys! You've done our industry proud. 

Hero truckie Dale Byer moved his truck in front of the woman's car to save her life. PHOTO: 3AW
Hero truckie Dale Byer moved his truck in front of the woman's car to save her life. PHOTO: 3AW

1. Dale Byer - Hero truckie saves woman 'slumped over her steering wheel'

 A SPLIT-SECOND decision from a selfless truckie saved the life of a woman slumped over her steering wheel.

The hero truckie Dale Byer told Melbourne talkback radio station 3AW he spotted the woman having a medical episode on the Calder Freeway yesterday morning and he crossed the lane in front of her car to help her stop.

"What I saw was the young girl was having a bit of a medical episode while the car was still working," he said.

"I had already dropped my speed, I was able to manoeuvre around her and very gently (make her car) come to a stop.

"I jumped out of the vehicle and made sure she was okay." 

Police said the woman, who is in her 20s, was believed to have "suffered a medical incident while driving and was unconscious when the truck driver came to her aid". 

Emma Collishaw thanked truckie Jason Freyling for helping her out when she was stranded in the middle of the Australian outback.
Emma Collishaw thanked truckie Jason Freyling for helping her out when she was stranded in the middle of the Australian outback.

2. Jason Freyling - Stranded woman thanks truckie: 'No words for his generosity' 

STUCK alone in the middle of the outback with a blown tyre, hours away from any service station, other people and no phone signal was basically this woman's idea of a horror story.

The woman, Emma Collishaw, who knew how to change a tyre, spent a while trying to change it herself and struggled with the tight wheel nuts before deciding the best course of action was to flag people down if someone drove past.

Lucky for her, a truckie named Jason Freyling came along in his road train.

Emma, who lives in Clare in North Queensland, took to social media to express her gratitude for Jason's help.

"Not only did he help change my tyre whilst supplying me with cold drinks, he then offered, once we got to a town, to pay for new tyres for my car, made sure I had something for dinner and he paid for me to have a room for the night at a motel," she wrote on Facebook.

Lifelong bonds were formed on the hay run.
Lifelong bonds were formed on the hay run. Jorja McDonnell

3. Burrumbuttock Hay Run truckies - 'That mateship and camaraderie out here is something else' 

A NEW friendship was forged in the heat and dust of the 14th Burrumbuttock Hay Run, when a father- daughter duo met a friendly B-double driver at organiser Brendan Farrell's farm in rural New South Wales.

It was the first stop on the run to Quilpie, Queensland, and this chance meeting between Alan Hardinge, and Warwick Baker and his daughter, Jess, was the start of something special.

The Bakers had been travelling from Sydney in Jess' 1981 Kenworth K100, and Alan, who normally drives freezer freight on a Melbourne to Adelaide route, had hit the road alone before his arrival at Burrumbuttock.

Steve Gurney
Steve Gurney

4. Steve Gurney - Townsville floods: Hero towie throws lifeline to community

AT the peak of the Townsville floods, small fleet tow truck operator Steve Gurney was driving along Anderson Street in Railway Estate suburb as water was rising.

The 29-year-old Steve saw a car in 800ml of water with the occupant in danger.

Steve, whose company is All Hours Towing, hauled the car out of peril and soon had others screaming out to him for assistance.

"I pulled up next to a bloke whose car was sinking and he asked how much it would be to pull him out and then said he didn't think he could afford it. So I helped him out for free and ended up towing out nine vehicles and just wanted to help people," Steve told Big Rigs.

Bayswater Mitre 10 delivery driver Dave Lynch helped a toddler from the wreckage. PHOTO: Bayswater Mitre 10
Bayswater Mitre 10 delivery driver Dave Lynch helped a toddler from the wreckage. PHOTO: Bayswater Mitre 10

5. Dave Lynch - Hero truckie pulls toddler from wreckage 

TRUCK driver Dave Lynch is being hailed as a hero after pulling a toddler from a wreckage after a three-car crash in Victoria.

In dashcam footage posted to the Bayswater Mitre 10 Facebook page, who Dave is the delivery driver for and has appeared on The Block as a delivery driver, a car loses control coming around a bend and takes out a white car and hits another black one.

The motor appears to be flung out of the white car and Dave skilfully avoids smashing his own vehicle, a Nissan UD crane truck weighing about 17 tonnes, into any of the cars involved.

Dave, who has appeared on The Block as a delivery driver and has worked with Bayswater Mitre 10 for 15 years, rushed to help the occupants of the cars and pulled a young toddler to safety from the wreckage. 

 

BLACKTOWN ADVOCATE/AAP. Truck driver Darren Cooke poses for photographs at the Lindsay Transport Depot in  Arndell Park. Arndell Park, Friday 03 May, 2019. Truckie Darren Cooke has taken out a national award for helping save the life off another truck driver. (AAP IMAGE / Angelo Velardo)
BLACKTOWN ADVOCATE/AAP. Truck driver Darren Cooke poses for photographs at the Lindsay Transport Depot in Arndell Park. Arndell Park, Friday 03 May, 2019. Truckie Darren Cooke has taken out a national award for helping save the life off another truck driver. (AAP IMAGE / Angelo Velardo) AAP - Angelo Velardo

6. Darren Cooke - Hero truckie: 'I couldn't let him burn' 

"I WASN'T going to let Ken burn in there, I would have hurt myself to get him out."

Not many people are prepared to put themselves in harm's way to help others, but truckie Darren Cooke is not like most blokes.

The Lindsay Transport driver had been down the Hume Highway hundreds of times without issue, but back in February he showed just what kind of man he is when he came across a multi-vehicle crash near Yerrinbool in NSW.

A B-double had crashed when it ran out of room trying to avoid a stricken vehicle. Darren brought his own truck safely to a stop and ran straight to the other driver's aid, pulling him from the cabin as the truck caught alight.

"I was running to the fire and trying to process everything, but my main thing was thinking about getting this guy out of the truck," Darren said.

"I'm thinking the worst, this isn't going to be real good at all, and I'm thinking I haven't got anything to break the windscreen and I was starting to get pretty scared. 

Pictures from the scene of a horror road accident on the Bruce Highway on the northern side of the Cardwell Ranges between Ingham and Cardwell this afternoon. Picture: CAMERON BATES
Pictures from the scene of a horror road accident on the Bruce Highway on the northern side of the Cardwell Ranges between Ingham and Cardwell this afternoon. Picture: CAMERON BATES

7. Truck driver pulls baby from burning car wreck 

THE "heroic" actions of a truck driver, an off-duty Cairns paramedic and another Cairns driver, are being credited with saving the life of a baby boy in a fiery fatal highway crash, which left two people dead.

The eight-month-old was pulled from the burning station wagon by the driver of the B-double truck, which collided head-on with the other vehicle on the Bruce Highway near Cardwell earlier. 

A man and woman in the station wagon were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Charmaine Harris McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kumbia.
Charmaine Harris McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kumbia.

8. Sight that overcame hero truckie

THE fireball in front of Mark was a B-double truck, skidding on its side, tonnes of momentum grinding up the bitumen and dirt.

He braked his own rig hard, jumped out of the cabin, dropped his phone and ran, panic and focus together. He'd seen fatal crashes before. He knew what to expect - and he prepared himself as he ran towards the mangled car, most of its roof torn off.

And that's when he saw it: a child's toy, a zebra, lying in the dirt. When he thinks back to that night, it's the zebra he remembers. The moment he realised he wasn't prepared for what he was about to see.

"This is not the first time I've been first on the scene to a fatality," said Mark, a truckie who travels 250,000km a year.

"It wasn't until I ran past that stuffed zebra that it struck me that there could be kids. So that was the moment. And then, in my periphery, I noticed the scene. And it all came into focus. The teddy bear over there. The kids blankets everywhere. It was kids' stuff. Just kids' stuff."

This was the night Queensland mother Charmaine Harris McLeod and her children Aaleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4 and Zaidok, 2, died. 

GOOD SAMARITAN: Truckie Steve Ryder was concerned about a woman he saw slumped in a car on the side of the road.
GOOD SAMARITAN: Truckie Steve Ryder was concerned about a woman he saw slumped in a car on the side of the road. Contributed

9. If truckies hadn't stopped, she most likely would have died 

THE actions of two truck drivers who saved the life of a woman found slumped in her car have been praised by the woman's mother, who declared: "They gave me my daughter back."

The mother, Jane Smith (not her real name, as she did not wish to be identified), told Big Rigs that if the drivers had not noticed her daughter's car by the side of the road and checked to see if she was all right, her daughter "most likely would have died". 

Duston Horne and Riley Payne driving the truck that was rammed by crazed 25 year old yesterday.
Duston Horne and Riley Payne driving the truck that was rammed by crazed 25 year old yesterday. Troy Jegers

10. Dustin Horne - Truckie knew driver 'needed to be stopped' 

EVEN if he had have known that the alleged crazed driver was armed, the man being hailed a hero, reckons he still would have tried to stop him.

Gympie truck driver Dustin Horne was driving down the Bruce Highway near Nick's Readymix at Monkland with his mate's young son Riley Payne to transport some cement blocks home to make a retaining wall in July. 

It was just after 9am that the pair heard police were on a high-speed chase looking for a dangerous driver near their location. 

Dustin, a truck driver with nearly 20 years experience, said he made the decision to move his truck a little into the driver's path to stop him and help the police.

"I was just hoping to stop him, I work with the police a lot (in my line of work with oversized transport)," he said.

"Next minute he's smashed right into the trailer. He rammed into me then selected reverse and took off again.

"I honestly didn't think he'd keep going, I thought he'd stop. He was definitely on a mission." 

 

Rick Sutcliffe
Rick Sutcliffe

11. Rick Sutcliffe - Tassie hero has lucky escape in dramatic scene 

TASMANIA'S fiery double-header on the latest season of Outback Truckers missed the hairiest moment of them all, says tough-as- teak logger Rick Sutcliffe.

The crew had stopped filming when Rick and his boss Adrian Bennett became trapped in the inferno that devastated the Huon River area of the state last summer.

Charged with carting bulldozers in to help create fire breaks, Rick said he and Adrian were called into the back of the Picton Valley when the out-of-control blaze "did a 360" and boxed them in.

"They were preparing to Helivac us out, then they said we'd have to spend the night out there because the helicopters couldn't get in for smoke, it was too dangerous," recalled Rick.

 

Mitre 10 delivery driver was honoured with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian title.
Mitre 10 delivery driver was honoured with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian title.

12. Dave Lynch - This Mitre 10 delivery driver saved a child 

A LOCAL delivery driver for Bayswater Mitre 10 has received national recognition and the title of Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian for his role in helping remove a toddler from a crash site in February.

Dave Lynch was travelling on the Warburton Highway in Melbourne when a three-car smash happened in front of him, forcing him to take evasive action to avoid the collision.

After coming to a stop, Mr Lynch noticed one of the cars had a distraught toddler and injured mother in it, and he immediately came to their aid in helping free the toddler and keeping him safe until paramedics arrived. 

Staff at Jim Pearson Transport helped to transport medical equipment during the bushfires.
Staff at Jim Pearson Transport helped to transport medical equipment during the bushfires.

13. Jim Pearson Transport - Transport operators hailed as heroes during bushfire crisis 

JIM Pearson Transport staff have been hailed as heroes of our Aussie community after helping transport medical equipment to people suffering from smoke fumes of the horrifying bushfires.

Facebook user Rod Marshdale wrote on social media last night of a woman he spoke to in Port Macquarie in New South Wales who had cystic fibrosis and was struggling to breathe because of all the smoke. 

 He said she asked if she could get an air purifier delivered somehow before the road closures.
Rod sprang into action and did what he could, contacting staff at the local transport operation, to see what could be done.

"It is with massive thanks to Jim Pearson Transport - Russell, he sorted pickup within eight minutes, no joke, that an air purifier was made available and delivered to her at 4.30pm this afternoon," he said. 

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