Cop car rammed, pedestrian hit in driver's wild highway ride

A MELBOURNE woman alleged to have run down an elderly pedestrian in Colac after ramming a police car in Camperdown was yesterday arrested after a two-hour pursuit across south-west Victoria.

The woman was earlier believed to have been involved in an attempted burglary, armed with a machete, in the Melbourne suburb of Eltham, which sparked a report to police.

Yesterday’s drama started after an incident at Bookaar when a car was rammed and the same woman allegedly produced a 40cm machete.

A Camperdown police officer initiated a pursuit in Camperdown just before 2pm, reaching speeds of 100km/h in a 60km/h zone, before the driver turned into a quarry on the east side of the town.

Driving a black Toyota four-wheel-drive with New South Wales registration plates, she then collided with a police vehicle, rendering it undriveable, while escaping from the quarry off Manifold Street.

The chase was called off almost immediately due to the highly erratic nature of the woman’s driving.

Police from around the Corangamite and Colac districts waited for the woman to come down the Princes Highway.

She arrived at Colac at 2.20pm and turned off, driving around south Colac until 2.46pm when she stopped the car on the road near the Colac racecourse and golf course and got out. A police officer following the Toyota from a distance then requested to approach the woman but was warned not to go near her until back-up arrived because she was armed with the machete. 

The woman then drove around stop sticks designed to puncture tyres, before heading north across the highway.

A decision was made not to recommence a pursuit due to her previous erratic and dangerous driving.

At 2.53pm the woman drove past an elderly woman who was walking along a footpath near the lake north of Colac. After doing a U-turn, she mounted the curb and ran down the pedestrian on the footpath.

Police who were following the driver called an ambulance. The pedestrian suffered a nasty gash to a leg but was reported to be breathing and conscious.

The driver  then headed east along the Princes Highway, followed at a distance by police, who set up stop sticks at Winchelsea.

At 3.15pm the woman was reported to be dangerously overtaking trucks and other vehicles near Winchelsea.

She was later arrested without incident after she stopped for police in Geelong about 4pm. She is now in custody.

There was a large amount of traffic along the Princes Highway yesterday as people made their way home after the Easter long weekend, especially with the Hamilton Highway closed due to the recent bomb incident at Derrinallum.

athomson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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