A HUSBAND witnessed a horrific head-on collision near Penshurst which claimed the life of his wife and a second woman who was travelling with her three-year-old daughter.
Police said the man was travelling in a separate car behind his wife shortly before the collision on the Hamilton Highway, about three kilometres north of Penshurst, on Saturday night.
The woman, 63, is believed to be Beverley Taberner from the Geelong suburb of Leopold. She died at the scene.
She was the sole occupant of a 2010 Toyota sedan which had been travelling east.
The 35-year-old driver of a 1999 Mitsubishi sedan was flown to The Alfred hospital with serious head injuries and multiple fractures but later died. The woman, from Dale’s Creek, near Ballan, had been driving with her three-year-old daughter, Hamilton police Sergeant Peter Freeman said.
The young girl was taken to Hamilton hospital and treated for minor injuries, he said.
She was discharged yesterday. A hospital spokesperson said her injuries mostly related to bruising from her seatbelt.
The spokesperson noted it was remarkable the three-year-old had suffered such minor injuries in an accident that killed two people.
Sergeant Freeman said accident investigators from the major collision squad were helping piece together the cause of the crash, which happened on a straight stretch of the Hamilton Highway in a 100km/h zone between Batesworth and Cemetery lanes shortly before 5.20pm on Saturday.
“We are looking at a lot of things: the road condition, the weather, the visibility was pretty poor,” he said.
“We are looking at the condition of the vehicles and the 35-year-old, along with her child.
“We are looking at a lot of different things.”
He said there was also at least one dog in the car, which died in the accident.
Police said yesterday there may have been a second dog that fled after the accident, but officers were still investigating.
Sergeant Freeman said the accident happened in “very heavy rain” but the condition of the road where the incident happened was good.
An earlier report from police media had suggested the west-bound Mitsubishi had crossed on to the wrong side of the road.
Sergeant Freeman said Mrs Taberner’s husband, John Taberner, was taken to Hamilton hospital for observation. He was released yesterday morning.
“He’s obviously witnessed it and it’s very traumatic,” he said.
“Any fatal accident is a traumatic event.”
He said CFA and SES volunteers had attended the scene.
“It’s always traumatic for volunteers to attend these situations and we will do our own debrief.”
It is understood the couple was travelling to see Mrs Taberner’s elderly mother in Hamilton.
The crash occurred only 11km from the scene of another accident near Penshurst that took six lives on November 12 last year.