The inaugural Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award has been officially handed to Brad Morrison in a small ceremony at the Australian Trucking Association stand at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne, today.
On November 14 last year, Brad Morrison came upon the scene of a tragic accident on the Cunningham Highway near Aratula in Queensland which had left a young mother unconscious and both her and her baby trapped in a burning car.
Brad 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. Sadly, the mother could not be rescued.
The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award has been created to honour 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 normal work.
“I was just past Cunningham’s Gap on the way into Brisbane, I do that run quite a lot, when I got a call over the UHF radio that a truck had gone into the bushes,” said Brad. “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.
“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 fifteen hundred 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.”
In presenting the award, Andrew Moffatt, Managing Director of Bridgestone, talked of Brad’s bravery in the face of extreme danger talking volumes for both Brad and the trucking community in general.
“While we would like to extend our greatest sympathies to the family, Brad’s quick thinking and decisive action enabled him to save the child at great risk to his own life,” said Noelene Watson. “For these reasons, it is our great pleasure to present Brad with the first Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award.”