POLISH LORRY driver Lukasz Urban (37) – allegedly killed by terror suspect Anis Amri (24) – has been hailed as a hero after his actions were credited with saving many more lives.
A German Police spokesman said: “It is believed that Urban fought with the terrorist as the vehicle began to plough into the Breitscheidplatz Market and might have tried to grab the steering wheel, causing the lorry to swerve away from the centre of the market and potentially saving dozens of lives.”
It is thought that Mr Urban was attacked as he waited in the cab of his 40-tonne lorry after attempting to deliver a shipment of steel to the warehouse of Thyssen Krupp Schulte on 7am on Monday 19.
The Polish driver was told to come back the next day and CCTV footage showed him at a nearby kebab cafe at around 2pm – the last known footage of him alive.
Mr Urban was planning to drive back to spend Christmas with his wife and teenage son in Pomerania on the German-Polish border and called his wife at 3pm on the day of the attack. She was unable to take the call and rang her husband back at 4pm. He never answered his phone.
Ariel Zurawki, owner of the haulage firm which employed Mr Urban, said he had identified his cousin’s body from a number of police photographs. He added: “It was clear that he had been fighting for his life. Police officers told me that despite being stabbed, he was probably shot dead and had put up a fight before he died.”
In the days immediately following the attack, a Go Fund me page was set up to raise money for Urban’s family. At the time PHC Magazine went to press almost £165,000 had been pledged to the fund.
A petition to award the driver Germany’s order of merit, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, has also been set up on change.org and has received over 31,000 signatures so far.