Bison Transport truck driver who saved a man from a burning pickup in Tilbury being hailed a hero. Nov 14, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Hero Trucker Recognized By Police Board

A Bison Transport truck driver who saved a man from a burning pickup truck in Tilbury is being called a hero.

Darrin Gillmore of St. Thomas got a Chatham-Kent Police Services Board Citation on Tuesday for helping Wayne Hartley pull the trapped driver out of a burning pickup truck following a fatal head-on crash on Queens Line just west of Sinclair Rd. on a foggy morning on October 10.

Gillmore says his first citation feels amazing and he’s proud that the man is alive today because of his efforts.  Gillmore, who also put out the fire with his fire extinguisher, says he couldn’t bear to see the man burn to death.

“It was traumatic and scary and it was also uplifting to be able to get him to safety and save his life, basically,” says Gillmore.

A 24-year-old man from Wyoming was killed in the crash.  A 22-year-old Chatham man has been charged with criminal negligence causing death. The matter is still before the courts.

Gillmore is no stranger to fiery crashes and says truck drivers carry fire and first aid equipment and are trained to handle those situations.

“Back in 1991 I had to pull another man out of a burning car in Barrie, Ontario and I got a letter from the chief of police thanking me for that,” Gillmore says.

He says he was more afraid for the man’s life than his own safety and believes it might have been divine intervention because normally he has a different route.

“You see something like that and you react. You do what you got to do and I was afraid for his life and not my life. I had to get him out,” says Gillmore.