THE infamous ‘Coal Creek bends’ on the South Gippsland Highway, east of Korumburra, was again the scene of a serious car accident last Monday night, October 31, at about 7pm.
While the six occupants of the two cars involved escaped with what has been described by authorities as “minor injuries”, it didn’t stop an outcry on social media last week calling for the highway to be upgraded in that location.
“There have always been car accidents on that bit of road. You’d think that the shire or VicRoads would do something about it other than putting it down to 80km/h.”
“It’s very slippery there as the back end of my work ute comes round to the front and back wheels slip, something needs to be done there.”
“This is why the road behind Coal Creek should not have been closed and the shire needs to fix that corner.”
“Shocking corner that. Should be taken out. VicRoads need a boot up the rear for not doing anything about that bad corner.”
For the record, the South Gippsland Highway is the responsibility of VicRoads.
According to police, “several oil spills were present” in the vicinity of where the accident occurred.
They said a car travelling west on the South Gippsland Highway, towards Korumburra, lost traction in the rear wheels and slid into the path of the car travelling east.
“The rear of the car travelling west has spun around and collided with the front of the other car. The two backseat passengers in the first car have been hurt but they didn’t sustain life-threatening injuries,” said an officer from the Korumburra Police Station.
“Four passengers in the east-bound car have also sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital.
“Police on the scene say there were several oil spills on the west-bound lane that contributed to the accident although they are also investigating reports that speed may have been involved as well.”
It has also been reported that one man, aged in his 30s, was flown to The Alfred hospital suffering leg, pelvis and possible spinal injuries.
Ambulance officers also took a woman in her 30s and a preschool-aged girl to the Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition. The woman suffered pelvis and neck injuries.
A second woman, in her 50s, and two primary-school-aged children were taken to the Latrobe Regional Hospital in a stable condition. The woman was suffering pelvis and neck pain, while the two children, a boy and a girl, both had neck pain.
Two more people were assessed at the scene.
A family member of one of those involved posted this in response to the concern expressed by members of the public on the Sentinel-Times’ Facebook page: “Big thank you to everyone that was on scene during the horrific car accident we had experienced, thank god we all came out of that alive. Just wanted to express our gratitude and happiness for the help we received. Our daughter is perfectly safe not a scratch on her, we’re blessed… thank you.”
Also: “My son was driving the car that crashed here. In the car were my son, his girlfriend, my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter. They all survived. The worst injury was to my son-in-law who has a broken ankle. All are safe.”
With so many people involved, a large number of emergency service personnel were on the scene, including ambulances from several towns in South Gippsland and Bass Coast.
Some of the victims were kept warm and treated on the side of the highway while others, with more concerning injuries, got the immediate attention of paramedics.
The highway was closed for several hours but the scene was quickly cleared as soon as the last of the victims was taken to hospital.
A milk tanker, a large B double truck and several cars were caught up in the accident response. Others were able to avoid the scene and take alternate routes.
The road was wet after a recent shower of rain and the response continued as night fell on this problematic section of the South Gippsland Highway.