EVERYONE heard the worst.

A semi-trailer jackknifed and rolled on top of a car on the Bruce Hwy south of Gympie about 2pm on Monday.

All emergency services were dispatched, including AGL Action Rescue Helicopter, to a section of the highway notorious for traffic crash fatalities, about 1km from the Matilda service station. On this occasion a sense of relief was shared between them.

As an oncoming semi-trailer jackknifed in front of him, the driver of an old Volvo did the only thing possible to survive. He pulled on the handbrake, spun the car 180 degrees and the old Volvo's solid rear stood up to the impact.

As he was placed in the ambulance to be taken to hospital for treatment to minor back injuries, the 32-year-old Noosa man said he felt extremely fortunate to be alive.

"I spun the car around and did what I could to survive," he said.

An eyewitness travelling behind the Volvo said the north-bound semi-trailer jackknifed and the trailer started sliding into oncoming south-bound traffic.

It was a lucky escape for the Noosa Volvo driver, who had five trucks following him at a safe distance.

Gympie Fire and Rescue was required to make the crash scene safe and assist in moving the truck's trailer away from the car.

Firefighters were asked to remain on standby in case a fire broke out.

"At the end of the day it's part of our job, but we are very relieved we didn't have to extract the driver from the wreckage," Gympie Station Officer Grant Feeney said.

"There's a lot of damage. It's very obvious the car contributed in saving the life of the driver."

The driver of the truck was being questioned by police and the matter was under investigation. The Bruce Hwy reopened to traffic at 5pm.