A BREAD van was wrecked when its Gladstone delivery driver struck a big steel wheel that fell off a truck in the middle of the night on the Bruce Highway.
With an oncoming truck and a big drop-off on the other side, the quick-thinking driver had the presence of mind not to swerve in the darkness.
Instead his van slammed into the heavy wheel stranded in the middle of the southbound lane.
The violent impact caused structural damage to the bread van which had to be towed.
The crash happened at 10pm on Wednesday night, 4kms north of the Calliope historical village, on what is described as a blind corner.
The Family Crust Bakery owner Janet Nielsen said anyone driving a small car would have been killed and it was fortunate it had been her larger delivery van.
She said the skills of her van driver, gained from his many years of driving experience, likely saved him from serious injury.
"It was so lucky it was him and not somebody else as they would have died," she said.
"The impact pushed the front left wheel back, bent the chassis and sheered off the bolts."
Now the hunt is on Facebook and social media to track down the truck driver, who Ms Nielsen said would now be well aware of his missing wheel.
She said it was likely the driver had a flat tyre then failed to properly secure the wheel afterwards.
"His negligence could easily have killed someone," she said.
The bakery van driver had been heading south in the Ford Transit van after delivering bread to Mount Larcom.
However, with dozens of more loaves in the wrecked van still to deliver, Ms Nielsen and staff were out in their cars at 3am delivering bread to outlets across the region.
Ms Nielsen said they had also contacted police about the incident.
"With so many trucks on the highway that night it will likely be impossible to find. We will never know," she said.
"We will find out Monday if it was written off."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.