December 24, 2016 / 4:18 PM / a year ago

Campaign raises $170,000 for family of 'heroic' Polish truck driver

WARSAW (Reuters) - A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $170,000 for the family of Polish truck driver Lukasz Urban who was murdered as he apparently tried to seize back control of his vehicle as it was used in an attack on a Berlin Christmas market on Monday.

A woman stands in front of flowers and candles, placed near the Christmas market at Breitscheid square in Berlin, Germany, December 23, 2016, following an attack by a truck which ploughed through a crowd at the market on Monday night. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The campaign was started by British truck driver Dave Duncan on Tuesday, a day after a man believed to be Anis Amri - shot dead by police on Friday - attacked Lukasz and plowed the Polish man’s truck into a Christmas market, killing 12 people.

Lukasz, 37, was found dead in the cabin of the truck with multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound, Urban’s cousin Ariel Zurawski said.

Germany’s Bild newspaper reported that Urban’s autopsy indicated he was stabbed while still alive, apparently trying to grab the steering wheel to prevent his attacker from driving the truck into the crowded market.

“I started this with the intention of raising a few hundred pounds for the family from good hearted British truck drivers,” Duncan said on the GoFundMe fundraising website. “Amazing generosity from everybody literally all around the world.....incredible.”

The amount raised so far is around 20 times the average annual net salary in Poland.

On Friday, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Urban’s teenage son and wife would receive a special pension, calling the driver “heroic”.

Amri, a Tunisian, was shot dead by police in Italy.

Reporting by Marcin Goettig; editing by Susan Thomas

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