Something similar happened to me in a few different scenarios- the fix I have found is to go back a couple auto saves/combat turns in this example and make a different decision/movement action. This happened on a combat scenario similar to the one you described and on the map screen when I was trying to commence a mission of a downed aircraft.
In all cases trying to reload from the last save til the crash would only cause a crash each time. So the trick when you encounter this is to do something different. I fly back to base and sold off that downed aircraft, the next aircraft I went to worked fine. In the combat, there was a room with large brain alien and another , kept crashing when the alien creature moved out of sight into corner, so I reloaded two turns earlier and came from different direction and killed it before it could move.
Hope that helps you keep your saved game, now I can't get past taking out the crew of a large downed ship because the top room has an entire missing section in the middle that prevents me from getting to the cockpit where only a single enemy remains. Every large ship has this model problem. Not sure why they would leave that out- makes no sense, as you cannot win and take the needed resources from the ship- and when you reach this portion of the game NO smaller ships come back, no more abduction missions, also when I take out the outpost no more ufos come period- I waited over a year and nothing else happened in the game.