*WARNING* - some of the images within this article may cause distress or alarm, and involve severe injuries.

A couple have relived the moment that a felled tree fell down and crushed their car, leaving them fighting for their lives at the roadside. 

Stephanie and Giles Bilton have opened up about the 'scary' moment during an episode of Helicopter ER.

In the upcoming season finale of the show, which will be aired tonight (Friday, November 17) on UK TV station Quest, Yorkshire Air Ambulance's (YAA) critical care team are put to the test, as they battle to save the lives of the married couple, who were in a devastating car accident during storm Malik in January 2022.

While driving through the Howardian hills of Yearsley in York to meet their friends for the afternoon, the couple's car was struck by a mature oak tree that had split in half due to the force of the powerful winds.

The Northern Echo: The tree went through the couple's carThe tree went through the couple's car (Image: YORKSHIRE AIR AMBULANCE)

The unfortunate timing of the tree’s fall resulted in the pair being trapped in the wreckage, requiring urgent medical attention.

YAA medics collaborated with local paramedics and Fire and Rescue services to free the Biltons from the wreckage.

The Northern Echo: Stephanie BiltonStephanie Bilton (Image: HELICOPTER ER)

Stephanie, who was a passenger at the time, was easily freed, however, Giles remained trapped for over an hour, pinned by large branches covering his chest, shoulder and legs.

Upon examination, Stephanie had suffered a blow to the head, which was causing her to become disorientated, she also had lacerations to her head, face and hands.

The Northern Echo: The extent of the damage to the car in YearsleyThe extent of the damage to the car in Yearsley (Image: YORKSHIRE AIR AMBULANCE)

Paramedic Gemma Richmond highlighted the delicate balance between urgency and caution during the rescue process, expressing concerns about potential hidden injuries.

She said: "When moving things around from on top of a patient, there is always a risk that it might be inadvertently blocking a critical bleed. My foremost concern was that by moving the tree, we could potentially trigger a hidden major internal or external bleed."

The Northern Echo: Giles BiltonGiles Bilton (Image: HELICOPTER ER)

After Giles was rescued from the car, the paramedics gained a clearer understanding of the severity of his injuries.

His plummeting oxygen levels raised immediate concern, signalling a critical situation.

The Northern Echo: The critical care team helping the coupleThe critical care team helping the couple (Image: YORKSHIRE AIR AMBULANCE)

Giles suffered lacerations across his head, extensive injuries to the left side of the chest, and reported numbness in his right hand, with the major injuries concentrated in his chest area.

The drastic drop in temperatures allowed the medical team to make a crucial decision to place Giles in a state-of-the-art thermal sleeping bag.

Also freed from the car was the couple's pet dog who was unscathed from the accident.

Giles was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

There, a specialised trauma team were waiting.

The couple found themselves receiving treatment at separate locations, approximately 50 miles apart as Stephanie was transported by land ambulance to York General Hospital for her medical care.

Miraculously, Giles survived with six broken ribs, narrowly avoiding fatal injuries to his lungs and heart.

Stephanie faced a series of severe injuries, including a broken humerus, and fractures to her shoulder and scapula.

She expressed relief at reuniting with Giles after the traumatic event, and her memory of the incident is still clouded by the ordeal.

Stephanie said, "My initial recollection begins at the hospital. The entire duration is somewhat bewildering; it's like your mind clouds over, perhaps a defence mechanism kicking in?

The Northern Echo: The tree on top of the couple's carThe tree on top of the couple's car (Image: YORKSHIRE AIR AMBULANCE)

"All my memories from the day feel somewhat foggy, and a bit muddled. I wasn't informed about Giles' condition initially.

"The first sight of Giles post-accident was when I returned home from the hospital. Seeing him waiting in the kitchen brought immense relief—We have been married for 32 years, so I can't express the comfort I felt in seeing him again."

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Giles, reflecting on the harrowing moments of entrapment and subsequent rescue, conveyed profound gratitude for the exceptional efforts of the YAA team, recognising the narrow margins that separated survival from potential tragedy.

He added: "I can still picture passing by the village hall, thinking ‘wow this is seriously windy’ and then I just recall waking up in a complete mess in a car with a tree all over me. I was pinned to the seat, and I could hardly breathe. The seatbelt was like a ratchet strap – I felt quite desperate at that point.

I remember a farmer talking to me when I regained consciousness, who had informed me that he had called for help. I can’t begin to explain the relief when I could hear the helicopter landing beside us."