Medical Plane Lands on Highway to Aid Injured SUV Driver

Driver in Life-Threatening Situation After Crash

On a road in South Australia, an airplane from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was forced to make an unplanned descent due to a tragic motor vehicle rollover. Sadly, the motorist endured critical injuries as a result of this accident.

Rescue workers were summoned to the portion of Eyre Highway on Saturday afternoon, after discovering a Toyota SUV had flipped over in an isolated area of the Nullarbor Plain, Australia’s outback. The incident left the driver, who is a 53-year-old man from Newton, Adelaide, with heavy injuries.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service plane was sent to retrieve the driver, and upon alighting on the highway, medical personnel performed lifesaving techniques at the scene in order to secure the casualty. The RRDS Pilatus PC-12, following departure from Port Augusta, made a landing on a section of the highway which had previously been prepared as an emergency airstrip.

“It took a truckie to find this guy in his car and he raised the alert with emergency services through Triple 0,” said Dr. Mardi Steere, executive general manager of retrievals, in an interview with ABC Radio Adelaide. A nurse and a fire and emergency services volunteer drove 100 kilometers to be the first responders, and Iluka mine sent paramedics from 300 kilometers away.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service collaborated with law enforcement to maintain order on the roadway, thus allowing the aircraft to alight in safety. Notably, it seems there are sections of the road specifically reserved for use as makeshift runways under certain circumstances.

“According to Dr. Steere, ‘Our pilots are aware of which highway is the ideal spot for them to land as a makeshift airstrip. In South Australia, there are a few sections of road that have been widened, reinforced, and strengthened specifically to serve as emergency landing strips.'”

The casualty was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the RFDS declared that he remained in a critical state, however he is currently stable.

Sources: 7news via YouTube, RFDS SA/NT (Facebook)

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