WATCH: Truck hero says he would do it “ten times over”

A trainee pilot who rescued an injured truck driver from his burning semi-trailer on the M1 on Tuesday afternoon says he would happily do it again.

Video emerged yesterday of Athen Barnaby, 33, climbing onto the truck’s cabin and pulling the dazed driver from the wreck just moments before it burst into flames.

“I was just in the right place, right time, and I’d gladly do it ten times over,” Mr Barnaby told the Today Show.


There are claims the truck was hit by a flock of birds, causing the driver to lose control and slam into the guard rail in Nerang.

“I saw the accident, it happened right in front of me … we were all yelling at him saying `mate you’ve got to get out of there it’s going to blow’.”

Mr Barnaby said he jumped on top of the flaming truck wearing only thongs on his feet.

“To be honest I didn’t feel the heat much at all … I had my thick thongs on and I just climbed straight up.”

What a hero!“I couldn’t watch him get burnt, so I just jumped up… I was in the right place at the right time, and I would have done it ten times over”. Athen Barnaby rescued a driver from a burning truck in Queensland yesterday. He’s so humble and he’s our hero! #Today9

Posted by TODAY on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The crash sent traffic to a grinding halt, with some motorists spending hours trapped on the motorway in sweltering hot conditions.

Temporary works were carried out on the damaged asphalt and guard rail through the area, however speed limits are in place in the southbound lanes as works continue over the next 1-2 weeks.