SPEED, alcohol and inexperience are suspected causes of a fatal road smash which took the life of a 19-year-old Toolong man early Saturday.
His vehicle ran off the Princes Highway and hit a tree on a notorious sharp bend in Port Fairy about 5.55am.
It is understood he was flung from the car.
Police said neighbours recalled hearing the noise of a speeding vehicle and the thud of a collision.
The late-model sedan hit the guard rail before careering into a tree and through the front fence of a house near Cox Street.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Sergeant Cameron Ross, of Warrnambool police.
“We are continuing investigations, but it appears alcohol, speed and inexperience were contributing factors.
“Neighbours recalled hearing what sounded like a speeding vehicle then, bang.
“Anyone with information that could assist with our report should contact the Warrnambool highway patrol unit.”
Police closed the highway for almost four hours.
Flowers and messages of grief quickly appeared near the crash scene yesterday.
One note read “RIP ... silly boy. You had so much to live for. May your soul rest. Forever young”.
The tragedy is likely to renew calls for a bypass around the township or for extra safety measures such as lights to be installed around the sharp bend.
Moyne Shire councillor and Port Fairy police sergeant Mick Wolfe said driver error had been the responsible cause for previous crashes on the corner.
“There’s probably eight signs there. They (drivers) are not going to pay any extra attention to the lights with all the signage,” Sergeant Wolfe said.
“If people want to disregard that you can’t do anything for them.”
The senior police officer said he could only remember attending four crashes at the corner in the past 10 years.
Moyne Shire Council is still in talks with VicRoads about the possibility of building a bypass from Rosebrook around the township through to the industrial estate in the west.
“It’s not classified as black spot with them (VicRoads)” Sergeant Wolfe said.
“We’d all like to see a bypass, but with this weekend’s accident and the other three I don’t see the need for the bypass going forward.”
It takes south-west Victoria’s road toll to 10 since the Talking Down the Toll campaign started on October 8.