INDEPENDENT NEWS

Accident prevention wins hero’s award

Published: Fri 2 Dec 2005 04:53 PM
Media Release
Friday 2nd December 2005
Accident prevention wins hero’s award
Pat Ratu of Auckland has won this year’s Beaurepaires Highway Hero Award.
Pat, who works for Auckland transport company Carr & Haslam, made national headlines in October when he stopped a drunk woman at the wheel of a car containing a two-year-old child.
He is the first ever two-time nominee for the award. In 2003 he spent two hours immersed in offal comforting the trapped driver of a crashed truck in Taranaki.
This time Pat was driving his car transporter toward the Awakino Gorge when he noticed a car in the distance weaving backwards and forwards across the road. Pat thought perhaps the driver had suffered a heart attack or something similar and decided to do something to help.
As soon as he found space to pass, Pat overtook her, then turned in to cut her off, stood on the brakes and jack-knifed the truck.
He managed to stop the vehicle just before the Gorge, a particularly winding and twisty piece of road which would have been a death-trap for the drunk woman and her small child.
Pat was presented with his award and a cheque for $5,000 at Parliament Buildings on Friday 2 December by the Minister for Road Transport Safety Hon Harry Duynhoven.
The award is made annually to recognise brave, heroic or humanitarian deeds performed by professional truck, bus and coach drivers in the course of their work. Anyone can nominate a Highway Hero.
ENDS

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