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Kiwi heros save Rubyvale man trapped by crushed ute

RESCUERS: A group of New Zealand construction workers, including those who saved a man’s life.
RESCUERS: A group of New Zealand construction workers, including those who saved a man’s life. Contributed

THE wife of a Gemfields man trapped under a ute says her husband would not have survived if a group of New Zealand men driving by had not stopped to help.

John Williams almost died on the side of the highway before the convoy of builders, most from Auckland, came to the rescue.

The nine Kiwis won the praise of police and the trapped man's wife, Darlene Williams, for lifting the ute off the Rubyvale man after it crashed off the Warrego Hwy near Roma on January 7.

Mr Williams, 60, was in a critical but stable condition in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital with broken ribs, bleeding on the brain, a punctured lung and severe burns to his shoulder, neck and face.

"I know how strong those boys are. And I knew that when they put effort into something I knew they could do it," Ms Williams said.

"As soon as I saw them coming down the hill to the ute I thought 'oh my God I know these guys can lift this'. I just kept saying 'my husband's under the ute, please, please get him out'.

"They deserve an award for it because they were the only people who stopped and... if they hadn't have stopped and done what they did, John would not have made it."

The family was moving furniture from the Gemfields to Oakey. Ms Williams, who was driving with her niece behind the ute, said the leading vehicle lurched in one direction and it appeared her husband had over-corrected the steering. The ute rolled about six times, tossing Mr Williams from the cabin.


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