Truckie hailed a hero after car crash rescue

Published: July 9, 2008 | 7183rd good news item since 2003

Wayne Zappone has been called a hero after he helped resuscitate a man who had a heart attack at the wheel of his car.

AS Warren Zappone watched the car in front of him veer across the road and crash into an embankment yesterday morning, he knew something had gone terribly wrong.

He ran down the ditch off Norman Road, North Rockhampton, dialling triple zero before he reached the car.

When he opened the door to the silver Hyundai, he immediately checked the elderly driver for a pulse. There wasn’t one.

“He wasn’t breathing and I knew he must’ve hit his head or something,” Mr Zappone said.

“Another bloke came over and we pulled him out of the car and started CPR.”

The men worked desperately to revive him until the ambulance arrived minutes after the accident, which happened about 9.30am.

The ambulance officers managed to get his pulse going again before he appeared to go into cardiac arrest again.

The 83-year-old Farnborough man, who is believed to have suffered a major heart attack, remained in a critical condition at Rockhampton Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Mr Zappone is a truck driver for Kele Bros.

He was on his way to Yeppoon for work when the accident happened, and he very nearly had one of his own.

“We went very close to having a three-car pile-up,” he said.

“I had to go off to the side as well.”

He said he was relieved to hear the man had survived.

“I’m still a bit shaky now,” he said just hours after the incident.

“It’s not something you come across every day.”

With enough knowledge of what to do, having dealt with the ambulance service through work, Mr Zappone drew praise from officers on the scene.

“The ambulance officers said it was fantastic that I knew all that I did,” Mr Zappone said.

Police yesterday hailed Mr Zappone a hero, and Central Region traffic co-ordinator Inspector Lyle Mitchell said his efforts had certainly not gone unnoticed.

“I am going to make a recommendation for an award of some sort,” he said.

“His actions no doubt helped save the man’s life.”

Published in Heroes
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