A MOTHER-of-four has been crushed to death and her adult son seriously injured after a 20-tonne tree came crashing down on top of their car in the NSW Blue Mountains.
Dearne Fulcher, 50, was sitting in her Volvo sedan with her 20-year-old son Dylan when it was flattened by the large tree on Victoria Street in Katoomba on Thursday evening.
Ms Fulcher, an intensive care paramedic of 25 years, is believed to have been killed instantly.
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Police said Ms Fulcher, who was awarded a bravery award for her efforts during the Blue Mountains bushfires in 2002, was a passenger in the car.
Ms Fulcher’s son, Dylan, was behind the wheel and suffered serious head and chest injuries.
He was trapped in the vehicle and needed to be cut out of the wreck by emergency services.
Once free, the 20-year-old was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition.
Witness Samantha Jones told Channel 9 she heard a “big bang like an explosion”.
It was unlike anything I had ever heard in my life,” she said.
“I came running outside because the power went out and I saw the accident. The gentleman who was driving the car, his foot must have got stuck on the accelerator because the tyre was just burning out.”
Ms Fulcher started her carer with NSW Ambulance in April 1994 and worked her way up to the role of Intensive Care Paramedic at Penrith Super Station.
In a statement, NSW Ambulance expressed its deepest sympathy to Ms Fulcher’s family and said she was an “extraordinary paramedic”.
“Today, NSW Ambulance has lost one of its family,” the statement said.
“Dearne was a senior paramedic and clinician for more than 25 years, and was a shining light in her community and her profession.
“Always an extraordinary paramedic, Dearne displayed an enormous passion for delivering first-rate care.”
“We, and the community of Katoomba, are forever indebted to Dearne’s service.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dearne’s family and friends, and all those who encountered her warmth and professionalism. She will be dearly missed.”
A severe weather warning is in place for the Blue Mountains and Far South Coast, as wild winds lash the area.
The victim of a fatal accident in NSW’s Blue Mountains has been named as a bravery-award winning paramedic. The local mother was driving with her son when wild winds caused a tree to snap crushing them in the car. https://t.co/0qDXjfdnED #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/ZcUH5AMQ7Q
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) July 12, 2019