Marseille: A 31-year-old French crane driver who latched onto the Nice attacker's truck to try halt his murderous rampage, one of two heroes of the night said he acted out of "pure instinct".
Alexandre, who asked AFP that his surname be withheld, was among the crowd that massed on Nice's stately palm-lined Promenade des Anglais for the spectacular Bastille Day fireworks display last Thursday.
"I came across the truck as I was leaving the fireworks on my bike. At one point I told myself I would cross the promenade to take the bicycle path along by the sea to go faster. It was in crossing the road that I saw people running and saw the truck. I then threw down my bike," he told AFP.
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, also 31, had already left a trail of devastation, zigzagging down the street at speed to try crush as many people as possible with his 19-tonne refrigerated vehicle.
Alexandre caught onto the handle of the cab door on the driver's side to try to stop him. The Tunisian father-of-three at the wheel clapped eyes on him and then began searching for something in the truck.
"It was his gun he was looking for," Alexandre said.
Grabbing a hold of his pistol Bouhlel pointed it at the young crane driver, who promptly let go of the handle.
"No matter what I did, my life is important to me," he said.
At that moment he felt a motorbike brush past him as the other hero of the night, whose identity is still unknown, entered the fray.
The motorcyclist chased the truck and also tried to open the driver's door to overpower Bouhlel but fell off and ended up under the wheels, according to a German journalist who filmed the events on his phone.
It is not known whether the motorcyclist survived. Bouhlel, a delivery driver by profession, looked to be "in full control of his vehicle" as he careened down the street, Alexandre said.
In one place there was someone who was selling sweets, the truck swerved to avoid a gazebo and mounted the sidewalk to hit him
By the time police deployed to guard the July 14 festivities had caught up with him and shot him dead, Bouhlel had crushed 84 people to death, including around a dozen children, and injured around 300 others.
Tens of thousands of people marked a minute's silence for the victims on the seaside promenade on Monday.