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Truckie praises rescuers after miracle escape from bridge crash

Lucky-to-be-alive truckie Charlie Thilakarathna said he owes his life to the two passing strangers who helped rescue him from a creek near Mackay early Sunday morning.

Those men, Fraser Lewis and a backpacker named Thomas, pulled Thilakarathna from the cabin inside which he was suspended by his seatbelt.

Thilakarathna was just 3km from the depot when his B-double crashed over the Bakers Creek bridge into the water below.

Lewis and Thomas got Thilakarathna out of the truck and to the relative safety of a sandbar where Queensland Ambulance paramedics assessed him, reports the Daily Mercury.

Fraser Lewis (left) and Thomas were the first on scene when a B-double truck veered off the Bruce Highway at Bakers Creek.

Now recovering in Mackay Base Hospital with bad bruises and scratches, Thilakarathna said he didn’t have the chance to thank the guys at the time because he blacked out.

“I want to thank these amazing human beings,” he said. “Without them, I am not living.

“That time was at low tide but I think I heard people saying it’s coming up.”

Mackay Forensic Crash Unit investigations are continuing into the crash that damaged the bridge and closed the Bruce Highway for more than 18 hours on Sunday.

“The truck will be recovered from the creek for examination as part of the investigation,” police said.

“Forensic Crash unit are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

“Anyone who witnessed the crash or has dashcam footage from the area is urged to contact police.”

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