- 1999 Highway Hero
Wellington truck driver Adam Reeves comforted a dying fellow-driver for almost three
hours as rescue workers tried to cut him free - a humanitarian act that ultimately
earned him recognition by becoming the recipient of the inaugural Beaurepaires Highway
Heroes Award in 1999.
At the time driving a Wilder Transport rig on a night swap from Wellington to Turangi,
he came across a southbound truck, which had lost control on a corner and side-swiped
The impact tore the cab apart and dragged the driver, who was pinned by his legs
and lower body, some distance down the road before coming to a stop.
As Mr Reeves, first on the scene, called emergency services, he realised that he
knew the driver, and proceeded to comfort him as the Taihape Fire Brigade tried
to cut him free.
Although a doctor, nurse and ambulance staff also attended, the driver died from
loss of blood.
"Adam did a magnificent job," says Taihape Fire Brigade deputy fire chief Robert
Webb, who was in charge of the scene. "He just stayed there comforting the victim
and looking after him while we went about our work."
Mr Reeves was presented with the Beaurepaires Highways Hero Award by the Minister
of Transport, Maurice Williamson.
Adam was chosen as the first recipient of the award from six finalists selected
from nominations by members of the public and the emergency services throughout
the past 12 months.
Each person was nominated following a humanitarian, heroic or community act and
reasons for nominations ranged from skilled driving avoiding accidents to delivering
stranded motorists to hospital and providing assistance at accident scenes.
"The nominations reflect the frequently unrecognised acts of heroism or humanity
performed by heavy truck and coach drivers in the course of their work," Beaurepaires
General Manager, Trevor Currie, said.
"This programme was initiated by the New Zealand Police and the Land Transport Safety
Authority and Beaurepaires has been delighted to support it".
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