Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Australian Truck Driver Honoured for Bravery

Pulled people to safety after fuel tanker crash
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – In recognition of his bravery during a tragic, multi-vehicle collision earlier this year that claimed the life of one motorist, truck driver Renzo Bruschi has been awarded The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award for selflessly risking his life to save others. On the morning of May 24 Bruschi was part a ten vehicle pile-up on the Calder Freeway when a petrol tanker carrying thirty tonnes of fuel rolled over. Renzo’s truck was one of around 10 vehicles involved in the crash. Renzo jumped out of his truck and into action without hesitation, running over to assist the driver of the tanker who was calling for help. The 52-year-old said:

“There was fuel and smoke everywhere; I just thought it was not a question of if this was going to blow but more a question of when, so I just sprang into action to help get him out as soon as possible before something happened. The tanker was on its side and I initially tried to break the windscreen; and it shattered, but didn’t break, so I had to climb up and pull him out through the door which was facing skyward.”

After assisting the tanker driver, Renzo turned his attention to an overturned car that had spilt fuel running through it. He crawled into the vehicle and helped the traumatised driver from her vehicle “I just did not stop to think at that point, I just did all I could to help,” he said.

Renzo was presented with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award at the Castrol Awards Dinner during the Technical and Maintenance Conference held in Melbourne on October 25. The award honours the great community service performed by professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during their regular work. Andrew Moffatt, Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director summed up the trucker’s response, saying:

“Renzo’s actions say a great deal about the kind of person he is. In his mind, putting other people’s lives before his own wasn’t a unique or special act, it was just something he had to do. To the community, and specifically those he helped that day, Renzo’s heroism is without question and we are extremely proud to call him our latest guardian of the road.”

Photo: The fatal crash site.