‘Helicoptor crash pilot saved my life’

Air ambulance pilot Pete Barnes
Air ambulance pilot Pete Barnes

Jolyon Palmer has recalled the day late helicoptor crash pilot Pete Barnes helped save his life.

The GP2 racer sustained life threatening injuries in a quadbike accident in woodland near his Southwater home in 2007, and it was the expertise of air ambulance captain Barnes which proved critical in his recovery from broken ribs, losing a kidney and liver damage.

Capt Barnes died last Wednesday (January 16) when his helicoptor, which was bound for Elstree from Redhill Aerodrome, struck a crane on The Tower, St George Wharf, in Vauxhall, where a pedestrian on the ground also died.

After Jolyon’s accidentsix years ago in Southwater, he could not be reached by a road ambulance, so an air ambulance piloted by capt Barnes was called to help.

Jolyon said: “My condition was more serious than first thought, there were a number of people that helped me, but I was lucky that Pete was able to land near to me so I could be taken to hospital quickly.

“It was very saddening to hear of what happened, he was someone who played a major role in my life and I am sure he played a major role in a lot of people’s lives.

“The whole event was very tragic.”