Daniel Hough, 30, of Hawthorne was critically injured in the crash Sunday, The Age reported. His condition was upgraded to serious but stable Monday, Royal Melbourne Hospital said.
Hough was removed from the vehicle and declared dead by paramedics, witnesses said. When he was being transferred to a coroner's truck, a Special Emergency Services volunteer noticed he was still warm after being "dead" for an hour -- and then detected a weak pulse.
Trevor Oliver, a tow-truck driver, said he feels as though he shares responsibility with the paramedics for the mix-up. He said he noticed what appeared to be some movements as Hough lay, covered by a sheet, at the crash scene.
''I do not know if I should have piped up earlier and said something," he said. "I'm as much to blame as anybody."
An investigation into the mix-up is under way. Simon Thomson of Ambulance Victoria described the crash scene as "challenging," with Hough in an upside down car that was hanging from guy ropes. He also had severe facial injuries.