PHOTOS: Motorcyclist hurt in crash

A WARRNAMBOOL motorcyclist is in a serious but stable condition in a Melbourne hospital after a crash near The Sisters on Saturday afternoon. 

The 42-year-old man was riding alone when he lost control of his motorcycle while navigating a bend on the Mortlake-Framlingham Road, about three kilometres west of the Occupation Lane intersection. 

He suffered head, leg and arm injuries and was intubated on the roadside before being flown to The Alfred hospital in the south-west based HEMS-4 air ambulance. 

His motorbike broke in two on impact, coming to rest about 50 metres away in a paddock. 

Sergeant Steve Parkinson, of Mortlake police, said the man was found in bushes on the side of the road about 40 minutes after the accident. 

“A group of his friends who were also out for a ride found him and called 000,” Sergeant Parkinson said

“Conditions were clear and the road was dry and in good condition. It’s still too early to tell exactly what happened but investigations are ongoing,” he said. 

It is the third serious accident on south-west roads in three weeks following the deaths of a 19-year-old man in Port Fairy on September 21 and a 46-year-old Timboon woman on September 28. 

Eleven people have died on south-west roads since the TAC Talk Down the Toll register started on October 8 last year, compared with 13 in the previous 12 months. 

Assistant Commissioner for road policing Robert Hill warned that October was notoriously bad for road smashes in Victoria.

“Statistics show there is a higher number of fatalities and serious collisions in October compared to any other month,” he said during a visit to Warrnambool. 

“We find that when the weather starts to get better, there are more pedestrians and cyclists out on the roads.”

The state’s road toll for 2013 sits at 176 — 29 less than the 2012 total. Assistant Commissioner Hill said police statewide would place a greater focus on speeding drivers. “That focus will not only be on just high level speeding, but for low level as well,” he  said. 

“We know that if we don’t change driver behaviour, the road toll will continue to climb.”

He said road accidents not only had an impact on the families and friends of those directly involved, but also on the wider community. 

“It’s a ripple effect,” he said. “A fatal road accident has a huge impact on everyone — the community and the emergency services who attend.

“We have officers who are on extended sick leave after attending serious collisions.” 

Acting superintendent for Western Region division two Don Downs said south-west officers would be working with members of the highway patrol as part of operation Safe South-West. 

He said general duties officers would work closely with the highway patrol to ensure there was a visible presence on south-west roads before the festive season. 

jwoolley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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