Coalisland man Damien Hughes (59) was just yards from the Nice seafront when the terrorist struck.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, he said: "I'd been to the firework display. After it was over, I and a couple of friends went to the old town of Nice just a block away from the Promenade des Anglais.
"We were sitting outside one of the Irish bars there when crowds of panicked people began to stream in from the seafront.
"The police told us to get inside the bar and stay there.
"From the window, I could see distressed men and women running, some of them with frightened, distressed children.
"People said there had been some kind of shoot-out with some terrorists on the promenade. That's when I knew things were much more serious."
Mr Hughes said it was only a matter of sheer luck that he was not caught in the terror attack itself.