Renzo Bruschi the highway guardian

The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award has been given to a truck driver who showed bravery in the face of a tragic series of events

Renzo Bruschi the highway guardian
The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award has been given to Renzo Bruschi.


The 2016 Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award has been handed to Victorian truck driver Renzo Bruschi in recognition for his efforts after a multi-vehicle collision on May 24.

The tragic incident, which claimed the life of one motorist, involved 10 vehicles, one of which was being driven by 52-year-old Bruschi.

Recalling the events of the morning, the 30-year industry veteran says a petrol tanker carrying 60,000 litres of fuel rolled on the Calder Freeway, leaving a devastated scene.

Recognising the need for action, Bruschi leapt from his vehicle and headed straight to the driver of the tanker who was calling for help.

"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," he says.

"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 driver in reaching a safe location, Bruschi then went to check on the occupants of an overturned car that had fuel running through it.

Upon helping the upturned female through her car’s back passenger door, he went to look at the other vehicle that was crushed but unfortunately came across a person already deceased.

"I just did not stop to think at that point, I just did all I could to help," he says.

"I hope something like this never happens again, but if I did, I know I’d do the same all over again."

Bruschi was presented the award during the Castrol Awards Dinner during the Technical and Maintenance Conference held in Melbourne on October 25.

More-than fitting the award’s criteria for professional truck drivers who go above and beyond in the course of their work, Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrew Moffatt says he is proud to call Bruschi the highway guardian for 2016.

"Renzo’s actions say a great deal about the kind of person he is," Moffatt says.

"In his mind, putting other people’s lives before his own wasn’t a unique or special act – it was just something he had to do.

"To the community, and specifically those he helped that day, Renzo heroism is without question and we are extremely proud to call him our latest guardian of the road."

Sentiment echoed by Australian Trucking Association chair Noelene Watson.

"Renzo responded to an overwhelming situation with selfless courage," she says.

"He acted quickly and fearlessly in the face of danger, getting as many people to safety as he could and offering them great comfort.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who lost his life as a result of this tragic event."



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