District road toll continues to climb

Man, 23, is year’s 12th fatality

A man, 23, died when this car slammed into a tree at Beeac.

A TRAGIC fortnight on Colac district roads has frustrated road safety experts and left them desperate for answers.

In the same month the TAC launched its Save Lives: Talk The Toll Down campaign, Colac district has notched up its second road death in two weeks.

The latest fatality occurred when a man died after his car hit a tree near Beeac yesterday.

The man was the 12th person to die in crashes on roads in Colac Otway, Corangamite and Surf Coast shires this year, up from seven last year.

The 23-year-old Waurn Ponds man was travelling north along Mount Hesse Road at Eurack, north-east of Colac, when the vehicle he was driving left the road and hit a tree.

He died at the scene.

The Colac Herald believes the man was visiting his father’s Beeac house before the crash, but his father was overseas at the time.

Senior Sergeant Ken Slingsby of Colac police said the man had left Beeac before losing control of his Holden Statesman sedan 10.35pm Wednesday.

“It looks like he has just lost control around the bend and veered across the wrong side of the road, tried to correct it and lost it,” Sen Sgt Slingsby said.

“When we got there the SES, ambulance and CFA were there and the car was wedged hard up against the tree,” he said.

Winchelsea woman Helen Bircanin, 55, died when her car hit a tree on Winchelsea-Deans Marsh Road, Bambra, 12 days ago.

Sen Sgt Slingsby said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding Wednesday’s crash.

“It’s too early to tell whether alcohol or drugs played a part but there was no obvious indication,” he said.

“The road surface is in good condition, it’s a sealed road, but it is a very dark area.”

Eurack resident John Ingram and his neighbour Fred Armistead were first on the scene at the crash, which happened in front of their houses.

Mr Ingram said Mr Armistead called him after they both heard the smash and they went to investigate.

“It was a pretty bad accident, we had no hesitation in calling triple zero because he was clearly not with us at the time,” Mr Ingram said.

“The impact broke his car in two – I didn’t get much sleep last night after that,” he said.

“All the people who were there, particularly the SES, did an outstanding job.”

Mr Ingram said the road had no history of being accident-prone.

“I don’t think there’s any recorded crashes on that road – but it’s straight and people do speed through there,” he said.

The Colac Herald has joined the Talk the Toll Down campaign with the Transport Accident Commission, urging people to talk about road safety and road deaths in an attempt to prevent road deaths.

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