This is the moment an heroic lorry driver used his vehicle to save the life of a sick motorist who he spotted had passed out at the wheel.
Russell Dagless, 53, used his HGV to trap the driver’s van against a central reservation after seeing him slump over the wheel and avoid a multi-car pile-up on a busy road.
The dashcam footage taken by another lorry driver shows the quick thinking father-of-one positioning his trailer in front of the van as it was bouncing along the safety barrier.
Other motorists are then shown getting out of a car slowing behind Mr Dagless and joining him to give the unconscious driver first aid on the two-lane road.
Police said he saved the trucker’s actions saved the driver’s life who had lost consciousness after suffering a bleed to the brain.
It won him one of the highest awards from the Royal Humane Society for putting his life on the line on the A47 near Dereham, Norfolk.
He will receive its Testimonial on Vellum award with his heroism being described by the charity as “like a scene from an all-action movie” showing “incredible courage”.
Mr Dagless, from Norwich, said he reacted instinctively and added: “Something had to be done, looking back at it, it just seemed the natural thing to do at the time, so the dangerous side didn’t really fall into my mind.
“The guy had to be brought to halt – what you see on the video was the last part of it – when we first came across him he was travelling a lot faster.
“This guy was seriously, seriously, lucky for the people who were around him.
“He was already up against the barrier when I came across him, there was several cars in front who undertook the incident and disappeared which then allowed me to pull up beside him.
“He was absolutely collapsed, his head was down below the steering wheel on the driver’s door.
“The two guys who were following us were first aiders, they obviously knew more than first aid than myself and at that point I stood back.
“Just after that a fireman turned up who had better first aid training and five minutes after that a young lady turned up who was an off-duty paramedic.”
The middle-aged van driver was given first aid for 30 minutes before the painter-decorator was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Mr Dagless said: “He could have died. I’m not going to go on the band wagon and say what we did absolutely saved his life but between all of us what happened definitely improves his chances of survival.
“Hero is a very, very strong word, I just had the right leg on at the exact right point.
“It’s very nice to have recognition for what you do when I was first told about it I thought it would just be a certificate, I didn’t realise the enormity of the award I was being given.
“That’s made me feel very very humble – yes, I’m the one who got on and done it but I would like to think that anyone who would be in the same position would have done similar.”
He was due to receive the bravery award, a framed plaque printed on vellum signed by Princess Alexandria, next March.
Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: “This was like a scene from an all-action movie. It showed incredible courage and resourcefulness to instantly assess the scene and take the action he did.
“This incident could have resulted in carnage but instead no-one was hurt and only two vehicles were involved, thanks to the amazing action of Mr Dagless. He richly deserves the award.”
Mr Dagless has also been praised by his workmates at Ben Burgess plant and machinery hire.
“When I went to the Norwich depot, they were all standing in line and applauding as I got in but it was just a bit of banter – any of them, most of the guys who I work with would have all have done exactly what i did without a moment’s hesitation,” said Mr Hagless.
Managing Director Ben Turner said: “When Russell told us what he had done we were all pleased and said well done.
“Once we received the video footage, it was clear to see just what a fantastic job he did.
“With the assistance of the other drivers that stopped, he helped save a man’s life and everyone in our company is very proud of him”.