THE Hamilton community is in mourning after a teenager was killed and another left fighting for his life in a Melbourne hospital after a crash in the city’s northern outskirts early yesterday.
Police said the two men, both aged 19, were travelling south along a straight stretch of Mount Baimbridge Road towards the city about 2.40am when their blue 1998 Holden Commodore appeared to have lost control and rolled a number of times.
The severely damaged car came to rest near a power pole, facing the opposite direction.
Police said both men were ejected from the vehicle.
One man died at the scene and the other was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition with head, face and leg injuries.
It is believed both men held only learner-driver permits and police were still trying to determine who was driving at the time of the crash. Mount Baimbridge Road remained closed between Kennys Road and Beveridges Road until about 3pm yesterday as major collision investigation unit (MCIU) detectives from Melbourne and local police probed the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Detectives focused on a straight 500-metre stretch of road in a 100km/h zone, which was covered in debris, paying close attention to a section about 300 metres from the car.
Detective Senior Constable David Morris from Brunswick MCIU said the cause of the accident was still being investigated, but excessive speed was believed to be a major factor.
“There are some marks a bit further down the road, which will hopefully allow us to determine the speed,” he said.
“It looks like they have oversteered, lost control and then rolled a number of times.
“The fact they were both ejected from the car is indicative of a rollover where no seatbelts are worn.
“We now need to make some inquires about their movements beforehand.”
He said the car came to rest out the front of a house, whose occupants alerted emergency services.
Detective Senior Constable Morris said it was a tragedy leading up to Christmas.
“This has ripped two families apart,” he said.
“Young people seem to think they are bullet proof. They just don’t seem to be taking the message in. The road rules are there for a reason, to prevent these types of incidents from happening.”
Southern Grampians Shire mayor Albert Calvano told The Standard the crash was upsetting for the community.
“When I first heard the news this morning (Friday), I thought ‘what a tragedy’,” Cr Calvano said.
“On behalf of the shire, and the entire community, I extend deepest sympathies to the families involved.”