A TOW truck driver who saw paramedics declare a man dead at a traffic accident, then return when it was discovered the man was still alive, says no one is to blame.
But Ambulance Victoria have launched an investigation into the incident, which happened at Bacchus Marsh on Sunday morning, where the 30-year-old Hawthorn man was incorrectly assessed as deceased.
The man was trapped in his car following the collision on the Western Highway, when his east-bound Porsche struck the back of a Nissan X Trail and crashed into wire railing just before 2pm.
The three male occupants of the Nissan, all aged in their 20s from Melton, were not injured.
Former Buangor service station owner and tow truck driver Trevor Oliver said he arrived at the crash scene within minutes of emergency services and witnessed the entire ordeal.
Mr Oliver said paramedics raced to help the man who was stuck inside the upturned Porsche, but decided there was nothing they could do.
“They did their bit then declared him dead,” he said.
“He wasn’t in a good way.”
Mr Oliver said police then declared a crime scene, moved people back about 30 metres and took measurements and photographs.
“He was still in the car and we could see some small movement of the head of the driver,” he said.
“An hour went by and the police told the SES volunteers to get the body out of the car.”
Mr Oliver said the man was then placed on the ground and covered with a plastic sheet.
“When he was under the plastic, it became evident that his feet were moving,” he said.
“When they went to load him in the coroner’s van, they’ve obviously realised the same thing.”
Mr Oliver said 20 minutes later, an ambulance arrived.
“In 30 years in the industry, I’ve been to a lot of more serious accidents, but not too many as shocking as this,” he said.
“He spent about two and a half hours fighting for his life before finally being treated,” he said.
Ambulance Victoria’s metropolitan west regional manager Simon Thomson said the ambulance service was investigating how long it took for the same ambulance crew to return to the scene.
Professor Russell Gruen from The Alfred hospital’s trauma centre will carry out the review into the incident.
Last night the man was in a critical condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.