A British trucker who raised over £196,000 using crowdfunding site GoFundMe for the family of Lukasz Urban, the Polish lorry driver who was killed in the Berlin terror attack, has been honoured at the Polish embassy in London.
Dave Duncan, from Otley, West Yorkshire, set up the campaign page entitled ‘For The Family Of Lukasz Urban’ after Mr Urban was killed by a terrorist who hijacked his lorry and ploughed it into crowds at the German Christmas Market, in December, resulting in 12 deaths.
Poland’s ambassador Arkady Rzegocki said that he wanted to “personally thank Mr Duncan for his selfless initiative… His compassion moved many in the UK and in Poland. It is an inspiring example of British-Polish solidarity which never fails in times of crisis.”
£100,000 raised in one day
The campaign reached a £100,000 in just one day. After 20 days it stands at £196,000 and donations are still being made. So far, 11,185 people have donated to the campaign.
Mr Otley wrote on the page:
“No amount of money will bring Lukasz back, but hopefully it will help his family do what ever they need to do. I am working closely with gofundme support to make sure all funds reach Lukasz’s family.”
He recently attended Mr Urban’s funeral in Baie, near the German border and met his family in person. He was moved by the tribute given there by Polish truckers, and met Mr Urban’s wife, son and family.
“Although I did not know Lukasz, the story of his untimely departure shocked and disgusted me. As a fellow trucker, I decided to reach out to the trucking community and beyond to help in some small way. It could have been any one of us… I felt such empathy, as though he was my workmate or a driver at a company I had worked for. I just did it without thinking. It literally took me just 10 minutes to set the appeal up. I never thought for one second it would take off like it did.”
Mr Otley thanked the people who had supported the campaign. He wrote:
“I would like to thank all those who got behind the campaign and shared it 50,000+ times. The 1000’s of people who commented, emailed, messaged me through Facebook for your continuing support.”
Kelsea Little, spokesperson for GoFundMe.com said:
“Even in the hardest of situations the generosity of people everywhere shines through. We hope the money raised gives some comfort to Mr Urban’s family when they need it most.”