A truck driver has been hailed a hero after using his 7.5 tonne lorry to protect another driver, after his wheel flew off at 50mph on a busy motorway.
Florin Wolf slowed down and put his hazard lights on to shield a white Ford Ranger pick-up truck after it lost a wheel at about 2.50pm on the A1 near Peterborough last Wednesday.
The pick-up slewed across the carriageway, nearly hit another car before veering back, hitting the kerb on the hard shoulder, losing another wheel and ending up slamming into some bushes at the side of the road.
Florin, from Fleckney, then parked his truck behind the pick-up to protect it on the hard shoulder.
Aubrey Elliott, 67, who was driving the pick-up, was shaken but not injured in the ordeal.
Mr Elliott, an agricultural engineer from Gotham, Notts, said: “I thought there had been an explosion.
“I did not know what was going on but my front driver’s side wheel had flown off.
“I had to fight with the car to try to avoid clipping the other car or hitting the central reservation as I think I would have flipped over then.
“I managed to steer and use the handbrake to get back to the left then it veered onto the hard shoulder.
“The truck hit the kerb and my other front wheel flew off. I came to rest I some bushes.
“Within seconds there was two bloke banging on my window asking if I as okay.
“What that driver did was brilliant and could have saved me from being hit by another vehicle.
“When I told my daughter about it she contacted the truck driver and his pal by Facebook and called them heroes and she’s about right.”
Florin and his assistant driver Daniel Samoluk, from Westcotes, had been out delivering for JJ Foodservice, and were on their way back to the company’s warehouse in Braunstone Frith
Florin said: “I could see that the white truck in front was going to lose it front wheel so I slowed right down and put my hazard lights on.
“The trucks behind me also slowed down and put their hazards on.
“When it finally came to rest I parked behind it on the hard shoulder. Daniel jumped out to check he was okay and I followed. We gave him wheels back.
“It was quite dramatic and I am glad the driver is not hurt.
“It was nice when his daughter contacted us to call us heroes but I just did what any other responsible driver would have done.
“All is good. You can replace vehicles as they are just lumps of metal but human life is special. I am glad he is okay.”
JJ Foodservice, CEO, Mustafa Kiamil, praised his two workers.
“We are so proud of our drivers – Florin and Daniel are a great demonstration of the first-class service we always strive for at JJ Foodservice,” he said.
Mr Elliott said he just picked the truck up after buying it in Cambridgeshire.
He said the vehicle is a write-off.
“It’s just one of those things that happen,” he said. “I have been driving 50 years though and never had an accident, so this is a first.
“I have seen the dashcam video and it looks pretty scary. It felt pretty scary at the time.
“I had four wheels on my wagon, then three the two. I am just glad I had stopped by the time I got down to two wheels.”
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