An eyewitness to yesterday’s Beauly oil tanker crash said the driver was “a hero”.
Artur Pawlow, who lives in Invergordon, was waiting for lunch with a friend in the village yesterday when he saw the incident unfold.
At around 11:45 a.m., a Johnston Oils delivery tanker crashed into the former Co-op store on Beauly’s High Street.
Mr Pawlow said he saw the oil tanker’s quarry alongside the road, hitting a larger truck and a number of cars before crashing into the building.
He said: “It was very crowded and I think the driver’s brakes must have failed on the tanker because there was a strange noise.
“He was heading straight for a busy parking lot.
“He hit the biggest truck, then cars on the street before he looked like he had taken any evasive action and entered the only empty store on the street.
âHe avoided entering the busy supermarket parking lot. He saved lives because if he had walked into the parking lot it would be a very dark and sad day today.
“This man, the driver, was a hero.”
Mr Pawlow said he ran to help afterwards, along with around nine or 10 other people.
He said: âIt was very scary and people were crying and confused.
âI got in the taxi and I think there was only one driver. I think the other driver was the other truck the tanker crashed into.
“He was also worried about the driver of the tanker and came to help him.”
He continued, “There was a smell and that’s when we were all afraid the tanker would explode, but at the same time, we just wanted to save the man.”
Mr Pawlow said it was “a miracle” that more people were not injured as the city was very busy at the time of the incident.
He and others stopped trying to help when police and firefighters arrived to take over.
âWe all did what anybody would do. I’m no hero but the driver is, he saved so many lives yesterday.
“I really hope he will recover from his injuries.”
Police and firefighters removed the vehicle from the building around 7:00 p.m. last night and the road was reopened at 7:40 p.m.
A Scottish Police spokesperson said: ‘At around 12:45 pm on Thursday 16th September we received a report of an accident on the High Street in Beauly involving a truck which struck a car and a building.
“The driver of the truck was taken to hospital for treatment and the road reopened around 7.40pm.”
READ: 14 ââfire apparatus en route to Beauly after reports of ‘truck’ smashing into hydrants and into shops and homes