News

Man burned in Whitsunday crash: locals rush to aid

IN FLAMES: The man was dragged out of his burning ute by Todd Robertson after he was able to extinguish the flames. Photo: Robyn Linneweber.
IN FLAMES: The man was dragged out of his burning ute by Todd Robertson after he was able to extinguish the flames. Photo: Robyn Linneweber. contributed

"THERE was a few moments where it was grim where we thought we were going to witness him not be able to get out."

This was the outcome Todd Robertson and many others were desperate to avoid when a man's car burst into flames after crashing into a power pole yesterday afternoon on Shute Harbour Road at Hamilton Plains.

About 10.40am, a 76-year-old Proserpine man was driving along Shute Harbour Road, 100 metres east of its intersection with the Bruce Highway, when his car struck the power pole and caught fire.

The man was taken to Proserpine Hospital for treatment of significant burns before being airlifted to the burns unit of the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

But if it wasn't for the quick thinking of one Proserpine local, the outcome may have been very different.

Todd Robertson, 26, and his housemate, Zane Reid were on their way to Airlie Beach for a swim when they found themselves 10 cars behind the horror crash.

"We just thought we should investigate and make sure no one was in the car so we went down the road," Mr Robertson said.

"The person in the car was trying to step out and there were the cables from the powerline that were over the car and over the door and he was relatively trapped and that was the problem."

 

CRASH: The ute crashed into a power pole before bursting into flames yesterday afternoon. Photo: Robyn Linneweber
CRASH: The ute crashed into a power pole before bursting into flames yesterday afternoon. Photo: Robyn Linneweber contributed

Mr Robertson made multiple attempts to free the man, even using his singlet as a rope to help guide him out, but the distance between the pair coupled with the flames made his attempts nearly impossible.

That is, until another man came running with a fire extinguisher.

"I saw someone come across the road with a fire extinguisher so I snatched it out of his hand and got (the victim) extinguished and once he was, I helped him out," Mr Robertson said.

Once the man had been retrieved from the car, Mr Robertson laid him down away from the wreckage and Mr Reid instructed onlookers to collect wet towels.

"We got (wet towels) and put them over his body and we had other people from other cars passing water," Mr Robertson said.

"A lot of different people were doing their best to help."

It was about three minutes later that the ambulance arrived.

A spokesperson for the Royal Brisbane Hospital confirmed the man was being treated and was currently in a critical condition.

Robyn Linneweber was present at the time of the crash and expressed her gratitude for Mr Robertson's efforts on Facebook.

"Thank you God for also sending Todd," she wrote.

"The brave man who pulled the guy from the ute."

On hearing this Mr Robertson was modestly at pains to point out it wasn't just him who helped them man, but all those on scene as well.

"Every little helping hand yesterday made a difference," he said.

"There may have been almost 20 cars on the scene when we arrived and we were still able to make such a big difference.

"It's so important that we follow our instincts in these situations.

"Even the smallest of things like passing water bottles from the cars and those already on scene that were giving us directions so we could help more efficiently. Everything was crucial."

Mr Robertson also said his initial feeling of being unable to help was "probably the most frustrating thing in my life".

"If it wasn't for the fire extinguishers showing up, everybody was set to witness a very different and scarring outcome," he said.

"I think a lot of my desperation to act came from that thought alone. No one should have to witness what we all almost had to."

Topics:  crash hamilton plains power pole shute harbour road whitsundays


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Daylight saving: 'Draw a line from Goondiwindi to Rocky'

Sunset in maryborough, Queensland. - User Contributed

Just draw a line from Goondiwindi to Rockhampton

Buses run for free on New Year's Eve

Public transport on the Sunshine Coast will be free from 8.45pm on New Year's Eve.

More than 20 extra buses being put on to cope with demand

Local Partners

Inside the fire zone: Coolum blaze devastation

GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING: Shocking images are starting to emerge of the devastation caused by the Coolum bushfire.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!