Hero truckie helps save the day
CRAIG Anthony doesn't think he's a hero.
That's even after he rushed straight into danger to save a fellow driver whose van was on fire on the Bruce Highway just before Christmas.
He wasn't scared, he said he just knew he needed to help.
"I'm no hero, I'm just an average Joe trying to help,” he said.
"I was taught to help someone wherever you can because you never know when you need help yourself.
"I can thank my mum and dad for that.”
Craig, who works for specialist forklift transport company Howie Transport and was carrying a 12 tonne forklift in a single trailer Western Star to Mackay instead of his usual Brisbane to Sydney run on December 21, heard on the UHF there was a van on fire when he approached the Yandina exit on the Bruce Highway.
"I had a couple of fire extinguishers on hand so I was talking to other trucks to see if anyone had pulled up,” he told Big Rigs.
It wasn't long before he came upon the van in question, which was carrying chocolate and lollies.
He didn't hesitate and went straight to the van with a couple of fire extinguishers, after asking the driver if he was carrying anything flammable or that would explode.
As he couldn't lift the bonnet up, Craig said he got underneath the front of the van with his fire extinguisher, trying to put out the fire.
"I said 'we've got no chance of this' so I went back to the truck and put it across the road to stop all traffic in case it ignited and exploded,” he said.
Emergency services arrived not long after and extinguished the fire.
Craig went on his way, telling ambulance staff he was "good as gold” but a few hours later arrived in Gympie and spent seven hours in hospital, treated for smoke inhalation.
When he was fit to drive again, he finished his run and made it to Mackay.
"I'm just glad he (the driver) could tell the story and have Christmas with his family, which is good,” Craig said.
The delivery driver, Jean-Pierre Lebret told the Sunshine Coast Daily of his experience and thanked Craig for his quick actions that day.
Craig said both Jean-Pierre and his daughter contacted him to express their gratitude.
"I'm just glad he's OK, you can replace a vehicle but you can't replace a life.”