NOT knowing if his dad's mate was dead or alive, little Jayden Bean clambered out of a wrecked truck onto a smoke-filled highway.
But it was survival instincts, not panic, that took over.
Without thinking, the courageous 12-year-old lad from Dalma, about 40km west of Rockhampton, ran straight to the vehicle which had just struck the one he was in.
"I went to the lady behind and helped," he said.
"I opened her door and her seat was pushed forward so I pulled it back and took her seatbelt off."
Jayden and family friend Ray Corrie were involved in the two-vehicle accident about 10.40am on Sunday on the Bruce Hwy near Kunwarara.
A loose wheel from a boat trailer had earlier sparked a widespread grassfire, causing thick smoke to smother the highway.
Ray, who was driving the truck at the time of the accident, said the pair and his dog Kevin were travelling to Clairview to pick up Jayden's parents after their car broke down.
"I slowed down for the smoke and pulled up and talked to one of the rural firies," he said.
Jayden said Ray had just finished winding his window up when they "got smashed" from behind by another truck.
"I wasn't expecting it," he said.
"I heard a big boom."
Ray said the last thing he remembered was their truck flying through the air over the embankment, before he was knocked out.
Jayden said he saw Ray lying in the cabin of the truck with his eyes open.
"I freaked a bit," he said.
"I was pretty worried about him."
Jayden said the male passenger of the other truck was covered in blood, while the female driver had minor injuries.
After helping her, Jayden said he went back to see if Ray was alright.
Thankfully, Ray was awake and speaking.
Jayden described the whole experience as "shocking".
He and Ray were later taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Ray felt lucky to be alive.
"It could have turned out worse. If we'd been in a ute or car we'd be dead," he said.
"I can't believe (Jayden) jumped out and helped."
Jayden said his parents were "pretty proud", but he hoped it would be the last time he had to do something like that.
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