A woman and her daughter, 7, are lucky to be alive after their car crashed into a cow which was wandering on the Princes Highway near Allestree on Sunday night.
Senior Constable Louise Francis, of Portland police, praised the actions of the driver who managed to keep control of the vehicle despite hitting the cow at speeds of up to 100km/h.
“It was a dark, rainy night in a 100km/h zone. It could have been a lot worse than it was,” Senior Constable Francis said.
“I was really amazed there was no fatality. We’re pleased it didn’t turn out worse.”
She said the Portland driver, 30, had been travelling from Port Fairy to Portland with her seven-year-old daughter when the accident happened.
“They’re both very lucky,” she said. “She’s just counting her blessings.”
Despite the force of the impact pushing up the bonnet, blocking the driver’s view of the road, she was able to safely pull up within 200 metres.
The young cow died in the accident.
Senior Constable Francis said it was the third cow in five days to die as a result of being hit by a vehicle in different locations around the Portland area.
She said police were initially called to a report of four or five cows on the road about 6.15pm but were unable to locate any.
Shortly after they were notified about the accident that had happened earlier – about 5.45pm – 1.5km further along the highway.
Senior Constable Francis said police were unsure if the cows were part of the same group, or if the two incidents were unrelated.
The driver of the car, who initially thought she had hit a kangaroo, was shaken by the incident.
It wasn’t until her partner arrived at the scene and wandered back to the impact site that she realised she had hit a cow.
The car was extensively damaged and had to be towed from the scene.
Senior Constable Francis said the accident was timely reminder to farmers to check their fences and gates.
Rangers will be making enquiries to try and determine the owner of the cow.