This dramatic footage captured the moment a hero air hostess saved a lorry driver’s life by doing CPR on the side of a motorway following a horror crash.
Melanie Tonge, 48, didn’t hesitate to leap out of her car when she saw the eight tonne HGV tractor unit smashing into a central reservation of the M60 in July.
The shocking footage showed the the vehicle swerving dangerously across the road before crashing into a barrier near Worsley, Greater Manchester.
Miraculously, the unit avoided hitting any other vehicles but the driver was left unconscious after suffering a sudden heart attack.
Quick-thinking Melanie is seen in the footage sprinting towards the lorry and pulling the driver out to save his life by performing CPR before the paramedics arrived.
Melanie, from Westhoughton, near Bolton, Lancs., said: “I knew if I did not do anything he would die.
“My husband is an ex HGV driver so I would have wanted someone else to do that if it happened to him.
“As an air stewardess I have seen people have heart attacks and I also delivered my own son but I had never dealt with anyone that was unconscious and not breathing.”
Traffic slowed following the collision at around 8pm on July 9 just past junction 13 and a number of cars stopped and rushed to the aid of the driver.
When Melanie, who has 18 years of experience as an air stewardess with advanced first aid training, saw that the airbags had been set off and immediately checked the driver’s medical condition.
She said 49-year-old Shane Sharkley looked “lifeless” before asking for help to lift him out of the lorry to start CPR.
Melanie made sure his airways were clear and asked a bystander to keep him in a safe position before she started performing chest compressions.
Others then took turns with the compressions due to the “exhausting” nature of it.
Melanie said: “I looked up and saw debris everywhere.
“My instinct told me that for the driver to do that he must have been unconscious.
“I said to my husband John ‘stop the car’.
“We pulled over on the hard shoulder and I just ran over to the lorry.”
Police then arrived with a defibrillator and shocks were administered to him before paramedics arrived and he rushed to the Salford Royal Hospital.
Shane, a HGV driver of around 20 years, was in a coma until the following evening and was discharged four days later.
Tests found the fit and healthy dad-of-two had suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Shane, from Chorley, Lancs., said: “I was driving along and it was just like a light switch clicked.
“I don’t remember anything about what happened.
“The doctor said there was a flake in my heart and that grew and dropped off the back of my artery.
“It is amazing that so many people stopped to help me and that my vehicle didn’t hit any others.”
Shane still suffers from rib injuries due to the CPR but is otherwise feeling better and awaiting to be signed off by doctors to go back to work.
The pair met at a cafe on Sep 3 so that he could thank Melanie for saving his life.
Reflecting on the incident, Melanie said: “It was nice to see Shane. At the coffee shop he bought me coffee and cake and the most beautiful flowers.
“He said it was the least he could do for saving his life.”