Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Quick-Thinking Teacher Jumps into Runaway Truck

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Quick-Thinking Teacher Jumps into Runaway Truck

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Theunissen of APNZ

A SMALL-town school principal put aside any concern for his own safety when he jumped into a 29-tonne truck that was veering across one of the country's busiest roads in peak hour after its driver passed out at the wheel.

Before Papakura man Banapa Avatea and another motorist managed to halt the wildly veering truck, he held back two lanes of southbound traffic with his car for 8km on State Highway 1 between Hamilton and Auckland yesterday morning to keep them from possible being crushed by the out-of-control heavy vehicle, which was carrying a digger.

Mr Avatea, the principal of Huntly West School, was making his daily commute to work with his five-year-old son Jordan about 7am.

"There was a truck in front of me and he appeared to be going quite slow. Cars were overtaking him but then I saw he was sliding to the right and collecting barriers," Mr Avatea said.

"I accelerated and came up beside him so I could look into the cab. …

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