TWO people were killed and a third seriously injured after a horrific head-on smash on the Hamilton Highway at Berrybank, west of Lismore, late yesterday afternoon.
The male and female drivers of both vehicles, a silver Mercedes-Benz sedan and a white Ford Falcon, were killed in the accident.
A 43-year-old male passenger was flown to Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital in a serious but stable condition with a broken arm and pelvic injuries.
The smash happened on the crest of a hill, east of Collins Lane, just before the Gnarkeet Chain of Ponds bridge.
Emergency services were confronted with a shocking scene of debris strewn across the road.
The Ford sedan was on the north side of the road, while the Mercedes came to rest on its roof on the opposite side of the road.
CFA units from Lismore and SES rescue units from Camperdown, Colac and Lismore attended the crash, along with police and ambulance units.
The highway was closed in both directions from the Lismore-Pittong Road (Ballarat Road) and the Foxhow Road until late last night while police from Warrnambool, Colac and Ararat processed the accident site.
Acting Inspector Stuart Green, from Ararat police, said the exact cause of the accident was still being investigated.
“At this stage it appears to be an offset collision, meaning one car has veered into the path of the other,” Acting Inspector Green said.
“We don’t know at this stage what direction each vehicle was travelling in.
“I don’t want to speculate at this stage. Our investigations are continuing and we ask anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Crime Stoppers or the Warrnambool police.”
Acting Inspector Green urged drivers to take care on the roads.
“This has had tragic consequences,” he said. “It’s a reminder to slow down, drive with care and drive to the conditions. It’s better to arrive a little bit late, rather than not at all.”