Horrific collision claims life
A LEONGATHA woman died in a fatal collision involving a street sweeper and another vehicle on Thursday.
The 59 year old was travelling east along the South Gippsland Highway near Foster North in her Toyota sedan around 8am when her car was crushed by the truck, police said.
She was identified by police as Dorothy Bullen.
Police said it appears the woman was overtaken on double lines near the Lundstroms Road intersection by a black BMW sedan also travelling east along the highway.
The BMW, driven by a 22 year old Port Welshpool man, then collided head on with a street sweeper travelling west on the highway, police believe.
Police said this caused the street sweeper to lose control, collide, rollover and crush the Toyota sedan, resulting in the death of the woman.
The driver of the street sweeper, a 58 year old woman from Glengarry, received minor injuries and was taken to Leongatha Memorial Hospital.
The driver of the BMW was conveyed to the South Gippsland Hospital in Foster with leg injuries.
Detective Sergeant David Newman of the Major Collision Investigation Unit is leading the team who will determine what exactly happened in the incident.
Speaking to The Star at the scene Det Sgt Newman said the incident was quite horrific.
“It looks like the driver of the BMW may have overtaken a couple of vehicles in a similar manner prior to this collision occurring,” he said.
“We are calling for witnesses who may have been overtaken by the BMW.
“Speed doesn’t seem to be a factor at this point but these roads are governed by double white lines.”
Police believe the road was wet at the time of the incident but there was no rain.
“I want to put out the message that you have to be so cautious on these roads,” Det Sgt Newman said.
“There’s a lot at stake, particularly on these 100km/h roads.”
Det Sgt Newman said all charges will be subject to an investigation by the MCIU, which is set to take about a month.
The South Gippsland Highway was blocked from 8am to 4.45pm, with traffic being diverted by police and CFA members.
South Gippsland Shire Council, which owns the street sweeper involved, sent condolences to the family of the deceased woman.
“Such tragedies remind us of the fragility of life and the need to take care on our roads,” council CEO Tim Tamlin said.
“Our own employee, who was taken to hospital for observation, was released late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and is continuing to receive support from us during this difficult time.”
Investigators are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit their website at www.crimestoppers.com.au.
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