FOUR people and a racehorse escaped with their lives after a truck and a car collided near Dartmoor yesterday.
Amazingly, the accident didn’t deter horse Fifteen Schooners, which was loaded onto another vehicle and continued to the Mount Gambier racecourse where he won the first race, a 1550-metre maiden, by half a length.
An 81-year-old woman from Hamilton was trapped for almost an hour until cut free from the crumpled Mazda sedan by emergency service workers.
She was flown by ambulance helicopter to Warrnambool Base Hospital with leg injuries and was in a stable condition last night.
Her 85-year-husband, who had been driving, and their 22-year-old granddaughter from Hawthorn were taken by road ambulance to Mount Gambier hospital with chest injuries.
The truck driver, Mailors Flat trainer Allan Peterson, and his horse were not injured.
The accident happened about 11.40am just east of the town at the intersection of the Princes Highway and the Dartmoor-Hamilton Road.
It is understood the car had just turned onto the highway as the truck was passing heading west and the impact spun them around, blocking the east-bound lane.
Acting Sergeant Mark McLean, of Dartmoor, said police diverted traffic around the accident scene for about three hours. The accident was attended by road ambulances from Victoria and South Australia, Dartmoor CFA, Dartmoor SES, Heywood SES, Casterton road rescue team, two police highway patrol units from Portland and police from Heywood, Casterton, Portland and Dartmoor.
Meanwhile, police were amazed how another driver survived his dice with death early yesterday on the highway near Terang.
Sergeant Heather Morris, of Camperdown police, said the male driver from the Panmure district walked from his badly damaged Holden Commodore station wagon after it ran off the road, crashed over an embankment and stopped in a drain.
She said it was understood he lost control of the vehicle on the crest of a bend near the McKinnons Bridge turn-off.
“He received minor injuries and was taken from the scene by a family member,” Sergeant Morris said.