Man rescued by Defence Force helicopter pilot from burning car dies in hospital

Krystal Johnson

An elderly man who was dragged from a flaming car by an Australian Defence Force helicopter pilot has died in hospital following a horror crash in the Queensland's Darling Downs region.

The male and female army aviation personnel were engaged in a helicopter training exercise near Middleton Road, Cooyar around 7pm Thursday evening.

An 85-year-old man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree near Middleton Road. Photo: 7 News

From above, they witnessed a car smash into a tree and saw the vehicle go up in flames.

The female pilot landed the chopper between 600 and 800 metres away and ran through bushland to where the vehicle was burning.

The 85-year-old driver was dragged out alive by the pilot as her co-pilot called for back up.

These are the two heroic defence force pilots who rescued the elderly man from his burning vehicle. Photo: 7 News

She dragged him across the road and moments later the vehicle became completely engulfed in flames.

The 85-year-old driver was flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital where he fought for his life before being pronounced dead.

Police say the elderly man lost control of his car before veering off the road and colliding with a tree.

The elderly man went into cardiac arrest and crews used a defibrillator and he began breathing again. Photo: 7 News
Photo: 7 News

Emergency workers and a Life Flight helicopter crew tried to stabilise the man as he went in and out of consciousness.

"He's had full thickness or third degree burns to his legs, his back, his buttocks and his arms and the back of his head," Peter Crook from the Queensland Ambulance service said.

Lieutenant David Jones from the Queensland Fire Service said at one point the victim went into cardiac arrest and crews used a defibrillator and he began breathing again.

News break – July 22