Driver exceeds 130km/h

A PENSHURST man will face court on a string of charges after allegedly reaching speeds of more than 130 kilometres an hour trying to escape a police pursuit early yesterday.

He was arrested after the engine in his 1997 Commodore sedan blew up. The vehicle was later impounded by police.

The 23-year-old failed a preliminary blood-alcohol breath test and was found to have a disqualified driver’s licence.

He was charged and bailed to appear in Hamilton Magistrate’s Court.

Sergeant Pat Day of Hamilton police said the saga began about 2.25am when officers attempted to check the vehicle and driver in the city’s CBD.

“The driver refused to pull over and police pursued the vehicle to Tabor on the Hamilton Highway where the engine blew up.

“A number of speed limits were exceeded during the pursuit.

“There was a male passenger in the car.”

n Fire crews were busy yesterday tackling a fire threatening communities near Gellibrand in the Otway Ranges, where three helicopters were called in to support ground operations.

The Country Fire Authority had issued a watch and act warning to residents of Gellibrand and Lovat with a small 20-hectare grass fire travelling fast in a south-easterly direction from Escarpment Road towards Gellibrand.

However, the warning was downgraded at 5.30pm after the fire was brought under control.

Fifteen ground units were involved in controlling the blaze, which was first reported at 1pm. 

“It’s difficult terrain,” a CFA spokesman said.

pcollins@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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