Woman killed, teenage girl seriously injured in West Gippsland crash
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One woman is dead, a teen seriously injured and three others are in hospital following a multi-vehicle crash in regional Victoria.
Emergency services were called to the crash involving a truck and three cars on the Princes Highway between Nilma and Darnum at 8.45am on Monday.
The female driver of one of the vehicles, a 32-year-old from Warragul, was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Her front-seat passenger, a 30-year-old Warragul woman, died at the scene.
A 14-year-old girl seated in the rear of the car was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital with serious injuries.
Ambulance Victoria said two others were taken to Warragul Hospital.
Aerial images of the scene of a fatal multi-vehicle collision in West Gippsland on Monday.Credit: Nine News
The truck driver is assisting Victoria Police.
Detectives have urged anyone with information or dashcam footage to contact police.
Nine people have been killed in five separate incidents on Victoria’s roads since Friday, including a crash near Hamilton in the early hours of Saturday morning that claimed four lives and left a teen girl in a serious condition in hospital.
Police believe the driver involved in that crash was likely travelling much faster than the 100km/h speed limit.
The road toll for the year so far is 132, compared to 96 at the same time last year.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said that the number of crashes causing multiple fatalities was a stark difference.
“This time last year, we’ve had one double fatality for the whole first five months. This year, we’ve had eight double fatalities. We’ve had two quadruple fatalities and, of course, that terrible quintuple fatality up in Strathmerton,” Weir said.
Transport Accident Commission head of road safety Samantha Cockfield said experts had observed international trends, reflected across Australia, that the numbers of people being killed on the road had increased since the pandemic, but did not yet understand why.
“I think not so much complacency, but belief itself; belief that you can do better than you can on the road, that you’re better than other drivers does play into it, and I think, to some degree, [drivers are] taking risks maybe we weren’t doing prior to us being locked down for a number of years,” Cockfield told the ABC.
“We’ve seen that speed has been a major factor in most crashes.”
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