TWO of the three people killed in a horrific crash near Broadwater on Friday night were trying to clear a fallen tree which was blocking the road.
The two men, believed to be dairy farmers from the Broadwater area, were killed instantly when a late 1990s model Ford sedan, with six people on board, smashed into the fallen cypress tree on the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road, near Dunmore Lane, about 9pm.
The front seat passenger of the Ford, a 58-year-old male from Heywood, died a short time later after receiving significant injuries in the crash.
The driver of the Fairlane received minor injuries and was taken to the Warrnambool Base Hospital. A third male who was helping clear the tree and four children, aged between eight and 12, who were passengers in the car, all escaped without injury.
A man on the Victoria Police Facebook page says he is the brother of one of the deceased and said they had come to Australia from the Philippines to work on local dairy farms.
The accident happened about 1.5 kilometres east of the Dunmore Lane intersection at the top of a slight rise along a straight section of the sealed, two-lane road.
Sergeant Callum McKinnon from Warrnambool Police said two men were travelling east in a Toyota ute when they came across a large cypress tree which had fallen across the road.
He said another ute carrying four males, pulled up behind them to assist.
"The six were all known to each other," Sergeant McKinnon said.
"They were clearing the tree and realised the chainsaw they had wasn't big enough for the job.
"Three males left to get another chainsaw, while the others stayed on the scene."
He said a short time after the other good samaritans left, the car crashed into the tree, then into the ute, before stopping a short distance up the road.
"A third male who was helping clear the tree saw the car coming and managed to get out of the way," he said.
"The passenger in the car received life threatening injuries and was being transported in a road ambulance to the chopper landing site when he died."
The Major Collision Investigation Unit arrived from Melbourne just after 3.20am Saturday. The scene was cleared just after 9am and the road re-opened a short time later.
Police from Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Macarthur and Hamilton attended along with SES units from Port Fairy and Heywood.