Gold Coast truckie Paul Hetaraka hailed as a hero for selfless act moments before he died in a horror motorway crash
A truck driver has been hailed as a hero after using the final moments of his life to ensure no one else was injured when his vehicle crashed on a busy highway.
Father-of-two Paul Hetaraka, 66, died after his truck crashed into barriers on the Pacific Motorway near Gaven, north of the US. Gold CoastThursday at 6:00 am.
Paramedics believe he may have been experiencing a medical episode at the time of the crash, but was still able to limit the impact of his crash.
Mr Hetaraka managed to steer off the highway and into a safe area on the side of the road to ensure no one else was injured by the out-of-control truck.
Social media users were quick to praise the late truck driver who went out as a hero.
Father-of-two Paul Hetaraka, 66, died behind the wheel of his truck at 6am on Thursday after suffering a suspected health problem
Tributes have poured in for the 'bloody legend' who spent his final moments steering his truck off the road to ensure no one else was injured in the ensuing crash
Johnna-Lee Toi, raised by Mr Hetaraka, shared the Gold Coast Bulletin that she was in shock over his death.
'[I was] Shocked and numb when I heard the news about the crash, I broke down, it was not a good feeling at all,” she said.
'He was always there for me and for all of us. He was loved by all who knew him.”
Others who did not even know Mr. Hetaraka praised his efforts and the fact that he thought of others along the way despite his dire situation.
“RIP, you died a hero and saved all those people from an accident, you are a true bloody legend, fly high,” one person wrote.
'You are a legend and a hero's friend, in your last moments you put others before yourself. Your family and other families will forever remember you as a selflessly beautiful person, thank you,” another added.
Friend Bill Hartland joined in the praise, saying the world had lost Mr Hetaraka too soon.
'RIP Paul Hetaraka, I'm going to miss you mate, a true gentleman and a great man. Sad, too soon,” Mr Hartland said.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash, or who may have dashcam footage, to contact them.
The investigation into the tragic incident is still ongoing.