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.

Dig deep for Red Shield Appeal this weekend

READY TO GO: Stanthorpe girl guides at last year's Red Shield Appeal.

Salvos Red Shield Appeal doorknock drive to take place this Sunday

Hall to host dinner after renos wrap up

LOOKING GOOD: Jane Kerridge at Eukey Hall.

Eukey Hall has welcomed a funding boost from the Federal Government

QCWT names its 2018 Young Ambassador

NEW AMBASSADOR: QCWT Young Ambassador Brianna Woods and Chrissy Mattiazzi.

Brianna Woods named QCWT Apple and Grape Young Ambassador

Local Partners

Students compete in dance challenge

Young dancers show off their dancing skills at the MMStudios-Dance Choreography Competition at the Civic Centre.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Students compete in dance challenge

Young dancers show off their dancing skills at the MMStudios-Dance Choreography Competition at the Civic Centre.

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam in a scene from the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

QCWT names its 2018 Young Ambassador

NEW AMBASSADOR: QCWT Young Ambassador Brianna Woods and Chrissy Mattiazzi.

Brianna Woods named QCWT Apple and Grape Young Ambassador

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!