Brad Morrison recognised with Highway Guardian Award

Nightingale Transport driver rescued baby from burning car.


A truck driver who risked his own life to rescue a baby from a burning car has been recognised with the Highway Guardian Award for his actions.

Brad Morrison from Nightingale Transport came upon the scene of an accident on the Cunningham Highway near Aratula on November 14 last year that had left a young mother unconscious and her and her baby trapped in a burning car.

Morrison was able to get through the flames, smoke and fuel surrounding the scene to rescue the 10-month-old girl from the back seat. An explosion occurred shortly afterwards. The mother could not be rescued.

Award organiser the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and sponsor Bridgestone presented the gong to Morrison today at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show (ITTES) in Melbourne.

"His bravery in the face of extreme danger speaks volumes, not only for Brad himself but also for the trucking community in general," Bridgestone Managing Director Andrew Moffatt says.

Morrison says he was just past Cunningham’s Gap on his way to Brisbane when word came over the UHF radio that a truck had gone into the bushes.

"I slowed down and came round the bend, expecting to see him just run off the road, and saw a big crash instead - the truck was jack-knifed and there was a little car, all on fire," he says.

"There was diesel all around from the truck. The crash must have ruptured the main tank. I reckon he'd only just filled up so there was probably about 1,500 litres spilling around.

"I pulled up and jumped out as quick as I could to see if there was anything I could do to help. As I came up around the back on the little car I could hear a baby crying.

"I just had to get in there, I had to get the baby out."

ATA Chairwoman Noelene Watson says Morrison is a highly deserving recipient of the award. She says his quick thinking and decisive action helped save the child at risk to his own life.

The ceremony marks the return of the Highway Guardian Award, which was introduced in 2011. The ATA dropped it from its list of awards last year.

Previously, the award was handed out once a year but the ATA says the title will no longer be exclusive to one person.

It says a driver can be acknowledged with the Highway Guardian Award at any time during the year and each recipient will be hosted at the ATA’s national Trucking Australia conference.

They will receive flights, full registration and accommodation to the conference, which is being held at Hamilton Island this year.

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