By Meg Kennedy
Rather than celebrating the Australia Day long weekend, two families are in mourning after another fatal accident on the Western Freeway near Gordon claimed the life of a young female passenger, and seriously injured the female driver.
The incident occurred just before 11.30am on Thursday, 24 January, where it is alleged a 4WD Holden Jackaroo, travelling westbound, struck the right-hand lane wire-rope safety barrier, causing it to roll and flip numerous times before coming to rest on its roof, against the opposite barrier.
The passenger, a 19-year-old woman from Yarraville died at the scene; whilst the driver, an 18-year-old Aspendale woman, remains in the Royal Melbourne Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
It is believed the red P-plate driver over-corrected whilst steering and lost control of the vehicle.
Victoria Police confirmed to the Moorabool News that no charges will be laid as a result.
Local police and emergency services, including an air ambulance, responded promptly in the sweltering 38 degrees temperature; creating extensive traffic delays of around 5km and diversions for Ballarat-bound traffic through Gordon via the Ballan-Daylesford Rd exit.
The accident occurred almost a week to the day where a motorcyclist died on 18 January, after allegedly hitting a steel safety barrier at the Racecourse road overpass, on the same stretch of road.
Victoria Police Senior Sergeant Ben Young told awaiting media on the scene that “investigations are continuing in regard to both of those incidents.”
“It’s a tragic start to the year, both state-wide, but particularly locally,” he said.
The accident occurred just before the start of Police Victoria’s Operation Amity, which operated from Friday, 25 January until Monday 28 January 2019.
Police members targeted speed, fatigue, impaired driving, distraction and seatbelt compliance.