POLICE from the Bass Coast Highway Patrol are keen to hear from witnesses to a serious accident which occurred on the South Gippsland Highway just west of Meeniyan (between the Tarwin Lower Road and the bridge over the river) last Thursday evening.
At around 7pm a 48-year-old Leongatha woman was driving towards Meeniyan when she veered onto the wrong side of the road and sideswiped an oncoming vehicle. This was being driven by an 18-year-old man from Koonwarra, and his vehicle rolled over. The woman’s car continued on and collided head-on with another vehicle, this one carrying three people. The driver was a 39-year-old man from Leongatha and his passengers were two teenage boys, aged about 15. The woman’s car then rolled over.
Significant damage was done to all three vehicles, but miraculously no-one was killed and the injured are expected to make a full recovery.
Witnesses rang emergency services and police and ambulances arrived promptly, along with the CFA and a CFA road rescue crew. The highway was closed for five hours and a detour put in place while the scene was cleared.
Two air ambulances attended. One took the woman to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne with blood loss and significant internal injuries. The other airlifted one of the teenage boys to the Royal Children’s Hospital with suspected spine and neck injuries.
The 18-year-old driver was taken by road to hospital at Leongatha with lacerations. The 39-year-old driver and the other teenage boy were taken by road ambulance to Dandenong Hospital. This teenager had an ankle injury and the driver had chest, sternum and rib injuries.
Police are investigating the cause of the accident and are calling for anyone who either witnessed the collision or perhaps saw the female driver in the time leading up to the collision. They are asked to contact either the Bass Coast Highway Patrol at Wonthaggi police station or Crimestoppers.
The accident scene on the South Gippsland Highway just west of Meeniyan on Thursday night. Photo by Gerard Bruning.
FATALITY AT TARWIN LOWER
POLICE are investigating a single vehicle accident at Tarwin Lower in which a 29-year-old man from Tarwin was killed. It is believed that the accident occurred some time after midnight last Thursday but police are still piecing together the details.
The Tarwin man was driving southeast along the Inverloch-Venus Bay Road towards Tarwin or Venus Bay when his car veered across and ran off the road near Arbuthnotts Road and collided with some trees. It then continued on, down a small embankment, finishing in a paddock, where it was found by the farmer at about 8am on Friday.
Police would like to hear from anyone with any information about the accident, including anyone who may have seen the man earlier in the evening. Contact the Bass Coast Highway Patrol or Crimestoppers.
SEARCH AT DUCK POINT
POLICE are very appreciative of the assistance they received from the public which led to a happy ending to a search for two elderly women at Yanakie last Sunday.
The women, an 82-year-old from Fitzroy and a 72-year-old from Port Melbourne, set out from Duck Point at about 3.30pm for a stroll along the beach. However, on their return they could not find the track back from the beach. They searched for about an hour and then, with the tide coming in and threatening to engulf them, they rang 000 on a mobile phone.
Police from Foster and Mirboo North attended, with great assistance provided by Alex Moon and his son Jared, who live nearby.
The search crew trudged through thick bush for about 40 minutes to reach the beach and tracked down the women with the help of mobile phones. They found them around dusk between Duck Point and Red Bluff, perched on a branch to keep out of the water. They were tired but uninjured and able to walk – and wade – back through the swamp and bush with their rescuers, the journey taking about an hour in the dark, necessarily slow with only GPS as a guide.
The police thanked the Moons and the management of Yanakie Caravan Park for all their assistance.
SWERVED TO AVOID WOMBAT
A 72-YEAR-OLD woman from Binginwarri was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with serious ankle injuries after a collision on the Albert River Road at about 7am last Thursday. The woman was driving with a 14-year-old boy when she swerved to avoid a wombat and lost control of her vehicle. It careered into an embankment and a tree. The boy was uninjured. Police from Foster attended the scene.
AT ABOUT 1.20pm last Thursday police from Foster observed a vehicle travelling in a south-westerly direction on the South Gippsland Highway at Hedley and began to follow it. In doing so, they observed the vehicle swerve dramatically onto the wrong side of the road and then correct. Police intercepted the vehicle at this point and noticed that the driver and passenger had swapped seats (apparently whilst they were travelling at 100km/h). There were two very young children in the back seat.