Daniel McConnell: The Australian hero who chased down a man in his undies

By Liz Burke

Daniel, Australian of the Year. Daniel for PM.

These are the collective cries of pretty much all Aussies today after the hero of a Brisbane car crash gave an outstanding interview this morning.

The legendary neighbour told Today he was woken by his wife around 2am on Thursday when a car had crashed into the awning of a fish and chip shop down the road from his Hendra home.

Daniel McConnell recounted to reporter Jessica Millward how he snapped into action, chasing down the man who had just about destroyed his mate's mum's shop.

"I jumped out of bed, all I had was me undies on," he said.

"I've walked out the front and I've seen the bloke walking back to the car and so I've walked outside and said 'what are you doing mate? You can't be leaving the scene'."

The man said the driver had told him "don't be a hero", and jumped in his car to "scoot up the road".

"I just said, 'Nah, it's not going on like that mate'," he said.

"So I jumped in me car and I started chasing him up the road and he went up a side street. The police were coming, I flashed them and sent them in the direction to him.

Karl Stefanovic was pretty impressed with Daniel McConnell's actions. Photo / Channel 9
Karl Stefanovic was pretty impressed with Daniel McConnell's actions. Photo / Channel 9

"But mate, all I had was me jocks on and I'm chasing him up the street and I'm just like, mate!"

With Daniel's assistance, police were able to catch the driver who has since been charged with one count of unlicensed driving.

The 35-year-old is expected to appear at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 31.

The community-minded neighbour impressed Today host Karl Stefanovic who labelled Daniel "Aussie of the day", before quickly promoting him to "Australian of the year".

Newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys said what we all were thinking: "Wouldn't you like to live next door to Daniel".

The fish and chip shop was 'beyond a mess'. Photo / Channel 9 Twitter
The fish and chip shop was 'beyond a mess'. Photo / Channel 9 Twitter

But when asked how he felt after the ordeal, Daniel said he didn't feel like a hero.

"It's just something you do for the community mate. You look after your mates and your mates'll look after you," he said.

The Brisbane man has been almost universally praised on social media following the broadcast.

A post on Today's Facebook page has already earnt thousands of comments.

"What a legend, not all heroes wear capes, some wear jocks mateeeee!" one viewer wrote.

"This is what it means to be an Australian ... But I think he was more shocked about being in his jocks than the actual incident, what a legend! Made me smile."

Others have suggested Daniel be nominated for Australian of the Year, a bravery award, and even the next face of Bonds underwear.

- news.com.au

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