Drivers Rally Behind Slain Polish Trucker's Family
By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW
The industry, media and some German lawmakers are calling for the Professional Driver shot and killed in the Berlin, Germany attack, to be awarded the country’s highest civilian honor. Polish truck driver Lukasz Urban, the driver of the semi who was hijacked and subsequently stabbed and shot, is being hailed as a hero.
Authorities differ on the exact behavior of Urban, some say he fought with the driver and pulled on the wheel to stop him from running over more people, whereas the Medical Examiner disputes that claim, stating that the 37-year-old was too injured to fight the attacker.
The attack which was carried out by orders from ISIS and the Islamic State in Iraq, killed 12 people and injured dozens. Urban was off loading a shipment of steel when he was overpowered.
Berlin’s State Minister, Andreas Geisel praised Urban for trying to disrupt the attack by seizing control of the wheel before his killer, Anis Amri, shot him in the head after the truck veered to the left, ultimately saving dozens of people in its path.
However, doctors are skeptical that Urban could have helped because he was shot between 4:30- 5:00 PM, and the attack itself was not until nearly 8:00 PM, which would have caused him to lose a lot of blood and made him physically incapable of attacking his captor.
Regardless, Urban is seen not only as a victim but as a hero and rightly so.
A British professional driver, Dave Duncan, started a crowdfunding campaign (think gofundme,.com as things are different across the pond) and raised as of this writing, $173,555.00 for Urban's family. Duncan wrote on the website, “Although I did not know Lukasz Urban, the story of his untimely departure shocked and disgusted me, and I cannot comprehend how his family feel at this awful time”.
Duncan added “So, as a fellow trucker, I am happy to say that we have reached and surpassed the intended target, and I want to thank everybody who has donated. I have contacted Lucasz's company and hopefully all your kindness and generous donations will get to Lucasz's wife sooner, rather than later."
Britain’s Daly Mail Newspaper, revealed details of a letter Duncan wrote Urban's wife.
"You don’t know me; my name is Dave and I am a truck driver just like your brave husband.
I am so sorry, as are all his truck driving brothers across the UK for your terrible loss. Your man should never have been taken this way, and in my eyes, he is a hero.
When I read about the shocking events and his brave, unselfish actions that led to your loss, I felt compelled to try to help his family in some small way, and came up with idea of raising a little money for you to use however you see fit."
The letter continued: "No money will ever replace Lukasz I know, but hopefully it will help you and your family in the future without him.
An amazing amount of people saw what I saw in Lukasz, a hardworking man just doing his job in the place at the wrong time, and have chosen to use the fund that I set up to express their sorrow at your loss, and help his family in their darkest hour."
Mr. Urban's tragedy is a reminder to all of us, that our industry is in fact dangerous on a terror aspect, and that we all need to remain vigilant in our surroundings.
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