Hero driver honoured as Bandag Highway Guardian

Avoiding action averted collision with school bus that darted out

Hero driver honoured as Bandag Highway Guardian
Left to right: Chief Inspector Phil Brooks, NSW Police; Geoff May, National Manager Commercial Sales, Bridgestone; Darell Wilson, Highway Guardian Award recipient; Shane Cox, Commercial Sales Manager NSW/ACT, Bridgestone; Ben Maguire, ATA CEO.


A truck driver from Sydney has been awarded the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award, for his brave efforts in acting to avoid a major accident on the M5 earlier this year.

Darell Wilson, who drives for SUEZ, was praised by the transport community and general public earlier this year for his actions to avoid a bus full of school children.

The bus pulled out in-front of his truck on one of Sydney’s busiest arterial roads in June and Darell responded quickly by turning his semi-trailer towards a concrete barrier, jack-knifing the truck to slow down and to avoid the bus entering oncoming traffic.

The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award recognises and honours the heroic actions of the Kurrajong resident for preventing what could have been a devastating accident.

Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Andrew Moffatt admires Darell’s selfless act to avoid endangering the lives of others.

"Darell Wilson is a credit to SUEZ. His split second decision prevented a major accident from taking place," Moffatt says.

"The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award recognises those in the trucking industry who go above and beyond the call of duty, and to put his own life on the line to save those on the bus was an incredibly noble feat. Mr Wilson is a truly deserving recipient of the accolade.

"Many of the previous Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardians have been recognised for assistance at crash sites. Being able to prevent an accident occurring in the first place makes the term ‘Highway Guardian’ even more relevant." 

Darell was also recently recognised for the heroic act with a safety award by the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association NSW.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair Geoff Crouch extends his praise to Darell for his efforts on the day.

"Truck drivers are under constant pressure on the road, but the last thing Darell Wilson would have expected was to see a bus pulling out in front of him," Crouch says.

"Thankfully, due to his quick thinking and incredible vehicle control, Mr Wilson prevented an accident occurring, demonstrated the importance and benefit of proper driver training and highlighted how crucial it is to remain vigilant on the roads."

The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian 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 the course of their work.

Potential Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidates can be brought to the ATA’s attention at any time by emailing ata@truck.net.au.


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