POLICE say a van might have turned illegally before it was involved in a chaotic crash near Apollo Bay which hospitalised three Melbourne teens.
Sergeant Nick Buenen of Apollo Bay police said officers were investigating the cause of the crash in which a campervan and a tour bus collided, causing the van to plough through a group of 16-year-old bystanders.
The six boys, from Glen Waverley’s Highvale Secondary College, were on the first day of a bushwalking excursion when their mini-bus became bogged near the intersection of the Great Ocean Road and Elliot River Road, north west of Apollo Bay.
The Year 11 outdoor education students were trying to wave down traffic at 1.30pm Wednesday when the collision happened between the east-bound Wicked van, which a Dutch tourist was driving with an English passenger, and the west-bound tour bus with eight American passengers.
Sgt Buenen said it appeared the van had turned into the path of the tour bus, causing the van to plough into the teenagers.
Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said paramedics airlifted one of the teenagers to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital with spinal injuries while two of the boys went to Geelong and Apollo Bay hospitals.
Paramedics treated the other boys at the scene for cuts.
An Alfred Hospital spokeswoman yesterday said the airlifted boy was in a stable condition.
A Barwon Health spokeswoman said the Geelong Hospital patient was in a stable condition yesterday and doctors would discharge him overnight or today.
Sgt Buenen said the van and tour bus passengers all escaped injury despite both vehicles having extensive damage.
He said two fire brigade units did an extensive washaway at the scene after the crash left “a lot of petrol and debris” on the road.