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Victorian truckie Renzo Bruschi has been named our latest Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian, for his bravery during a tragic multi-vehicle collision earlier this year.
The morning of May 24 started out just like any other for Renzo, who has been driving trucks for more than 30 years. That all changed when a petrol tanker carrying 60,000 litres of fuel rolled over on the Calder Freeway.
Renzo’s truck was one of around 10 vehicles caught up in the freeway accident – but the 52-year-old showed no hesitation jumping out of his truck and into action.
Running over to assist the driver of the tanker who was calling for help, Renzo said, “There was fuel and smoke everywhere; I just thought it was not a question of if this was going to blow but more a question of when, so I just sprang into action to help get him out as soon as possible before something happened.”
“The tanker was on its side and I initially tried to break the windscreen; and it shattered - but didn’t break, so I had to climb up and pull him out through the door which was facing skyward.”
After assisting the tanker driver, Renzo diverted his attention to a car overturned in the gutter and soaked in fuel. He crawled through the back-passenger door, helped the extremely traumatised driver from her vehicle and led her away from the scene.
“I just did not stop to think at that point, I just did all I could to help,” he said. “I went to the other vehicle which was crushed to see if I could help but unfortunately that person was already deceased. I hope something like this never happens again, but if it did, I know I’d do the same all over again.” Sadly, the collision claimed the life of one motorist.
Our 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 regular work.
In Renzo’s mind, putting other people’s lives before his own wasn’t a unique or special act – it was just something he had to do. That’s why we’re so proud to call him our latest guardian of the road.
If you know someone that could be considered for a Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award, you can email the details to the Australian Trucking Association.
For more information about the award visit the Highway Guardian website.