Paramedics discovered woman crushed by tree was a colleague
A woman crushed to death when a tree fell on her car in wild winds on Wednesday night was a veteran intensive care paramedic whose colleagues tried to save her life.
Mother-of-four Dearne Fulcher, 50, was in her green Volvo with one of her adult sons when a large tree came down on the car on Victoria St, North Katoomba, just after 7pm.
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan said the death of Ms Fulcher, a skilled paramedic of more than 25 years experience, had devastated her colleagues.
"Dearne was one of those vivacious, confident and dedicated paramedics, it rocked her colleagues from the sheer tragedy," Mr Morgan said.
He said he was "profoundly proud" of the paramedics who attended and did everything possible to save their friend.
"The loss of any person is a tragedy but you can imagine being confronted with someone you know, who you love, who you spend time with socially and have to be a consummate professional to provide care," Mr Morgan said.
"She lives in Katoomba and the police, fire and ambulance paramedics in Katoomba are a really strong, cohesive community."
Ms Fulcher died at the scene and her 20-year-old son was trapped inside the vehicle for some time before he was rushed to Westmead Hospital.
Mr Morgan said Ms Fulcher had a unique connection with her patients.
"This was a woman I had the privilege of working on the road with myself many years ago … it's nice in some ways to just have that personal connections to honestly be able to say how unique they were. She's just one of these people who had connections with patients, they would remember her forever."
Samantha Jones, who lives on Victoria St, said she heard a large bang and ran outside her home. "It was like nothing I've heard before, like a bomb going off."
"It doesn't look good, it's a nasty accident," she said.
The incident caused a power outage in the area and the road was closed in both directions for several hours.
The male driver was freed following a rescue operation involving Police Rescue, Fire & Rescue NSW, and NSW Ambulance paramedics. He sustained head and chest injuries and was flown to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition.