Hero air hostess saves lorry driver’s life after heart stops in motorway crash

An air hostess miraculously saved the life of a lorry driver after his heart stopped in a motorway crash.

Hero Melanie Tonge leapt into action after seeing an out of control vehicle ahead of the the car she was travelling in with the husband on the M60 in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

Dramatic footage captured the crash as the HGV tractor unit swerved across the road before crashing into the central reservation.

The huge unit somehow avoided hitting any other vehicles but Melanie, 48, from Westhoughton, Lancashire, knew her first aid training would be needed.

She 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."

Traffic slowed following the collision before a number of people rushed to the aid of the driver.

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 then went to check on driver Shane Sharkey's medical condition.

He looked "lifeless" and Melanie asked for help to lift him out of the lorry to start CPR.

She made sure his airways were clear and asked a bystander to keep him in a safe position before she started performing chest compressions.

Police then arrived with a defibrillator and shocks were administered to him before paramedics arrived and he was taken 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 from Chorley had suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest during the incident on July 9.

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Shane, 49, 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 met up with Melanie at Westhoughton coffee shop Amore on to thank her for her efforts.

Melanie said: "I knew if I did not do anything he would die.

"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.

"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."

Melanie and John also praised the emergency service workers and bystanders who helped at the scene.

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