A trucker hero from Kentucky who saved a law enforcement officer from being strangled was one of three finalists named this month by the Goodyear Tire Company for its 2014 Highway Hero Award.
Truck drivers are often the first responders to the scene of highway accidents and crimes. Clinton Blackburn, a driver from Morehead, put himself in harm’s way last March to help a jailer who had been transporting a prisoner.
Blackburn was driving near Elizabethtown, Ky., 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, Spencer County jailer Darrell Herndon was being choked from behind by a prisoner who was leaning through the glass from 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. During the melee, the prisoner pulled Herndon’s gun from its holster. Blackburn grabbed the barrel of the gun and pointed it toward the car’s dashboard.
“The prisoner then tried to point the gun at Blackburn, who turned the weapon around and aimed it at the prisoner,” reports Goodyear. Herndon finally regained his composure and helped to subdue the man.