Trucker honored as hero for going extra mile

June 28, 2006|by TARA REILLY


Larry Wysk moved fast on May 26 when he saw a family stranded on an interstate in Ohio with fire coming from underneath a camper the travelers had been hauling.

Wysk, who lives near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., pulled over his tractor-trailer, grabbed his fire extinguisher and quickly put out the flames.

He said he didn't think about whether he should stop. He just knew it was his duty to help the family, which had been on its way to a camping trip over the Memorial Day weekend.


"I just saw it, and I just pulled over," Wysk said. "I didn't even think about it. I thought that was the right thing to do."

The incident on Interstate 71 near Columbus was over in minutes, and he didn't think what he did was a big deal.

The state of Maryland and the trucking company he works for, D.M. Bowman Inc. near Williamsport, thought differently.

On Tuesday, Wysk received a Secretary Citation from the Maryland Department of Transportation for his actions.

Ed Miller, with the state transportation department, presented Wysk with the award.

He is the first Bowman driver to receive the honor, said Linda Baer, director of human resources for the trucking company.

"We are very proud of him," Baer said. "Our slogan is, 'We carry through,' and he did."

Scott Bowen, director of safety for Bowman, said the family called the company saying Wysk's assistance helped prevent major fire damage.

A propane gas tank in front of the camper could have caught fire and "who knows what could have occurred," Bowen said.

He praised Wysk for helping the family, which was able to continue with the camping trip, Bowen said.

"We just want to say, 'thank you,'" Bowen said. "We always like to think of our drivers as being knights of the road. The industry is really working hard to bring that image back to the roadway."

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