A HORRIFIC crash near Ballarat yesterday has claimed the lives of a woman and a teenage girl, believed to be a mother and daughter, and left another man fighting for life in a Melbourne hospital.
The 37-year-old woman and the 13-year-old girl, who were passengers in the late model Holden four-wheel-drive (Über Kiwi comment: a Holden Jackaroo) were killed instantly in the accident, which happened shortly before 6pm.
Ambulance crews worked frantically for an hour on the 40-year-old male driver, believed to be the woman’s partner, who was placed on life support to stabilise him before he was airlifted to The Alfred at 7.30pm.
The man, who suffered major head injuries in the crash, was in a critical condition last night.
“His injuries are significant and life-threatening,” said Rural Ambulance Victoria area manager Stephen Ford.
An eight-year-old girl, believed to be the couple’s daughter, also in the vehicle was taken by ambulance to Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital with minor injuries.
Sgt Chris Carnie, from the major collision investigation unit, said the car had been travelling towards Melbourne and was approaching a left-hand bend when the driver apparently lost control of the car.
“He tried to regain control of the vehicle, but was unable to do so and the vehicle has rolled,” he said. “Paramedics have told us an eight-year-old girl was outside the car when they arrived, sitting by the side of the road.”
“Police said the late-model gold Holden was travelling towards Melbourne when it is believed to have blown a tyre, causing the male driver to lose control.
CFA, police and ambulance crews attended the scene with rescue crews cutting open the roof of the vehicle to free the man and eight-year-old.
Wendouree CFA Captain Hans Van Hamond said it was a heart-wrenching job
for rescuers as they arrived to find the family trapped in the vehicle,
their personal belongings scattered along a 50m length of the freeway.
Magazines, a mobile phone, shoes and books lay as tragic markers of the
four-wheel drive’s final journey before coming to rest on its side next
to the road.
“It’s one of those jobs nobody wants to see or go to,” Capt Van Hamond
“We all have families ourselves. It’s fairly devastating to see the end
result and often once you are here there’s not a lot you can do.”
It is believed the family was returning home for Christmas.”
“It is a tragedy and doubly so at Christmas,” Sergeant Chris Carnie of
the major collision investigation unit said. “We have a family that has
been decimated and won’t be celebrating at all.”