Groendyke driver is newest Highway Hero
May 1, 2005 12:00 PM
Diana TX truck driver Rick Dent, who works for Enid OK-based Groendyke Transportation, was named the 22nd Goodyear North American Highway Hero for rescuing a man and his two children from a car sinking in a water-filled ditch.
The car driven by Bob Strictland landed in the ditch when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer July 14, 2004, along US 84 near Jena LA.
Dent, a 6-foot, 300-lb man, pulled his truck over, ran to the ditch, and asked if they were all right. The father yelled that they were trapped and that the car was sinking. Snakes were swimming in the ditch, and the three-year-old girl was screaming. Dent swam to the car, but the doors and power windows were jammed. The truck driver dislodged the door about 3 inches, but it was stuck. Suddenly, the girl screamed again, and in a burst of strength, Dent pulled the door off the car easily.
He took the children to the water's edge and returned for the father, whose foot was lodged under the dash. Dent dove underwater and freed the father's foot, and then carried him to safety. He then called for help and wrapped the family in blankets.
Dent was awarded a $10,000 United States Savings Bond and a specially designed size 17 Goodyear Highway Hero ring during the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville KY.
Access www.goodyear.com/truck/whatsnew/heroes.html to learn more about the Highway Hero program.
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