TRAILER MAYHEM: Four vehicles in highway smash

Firefighters believe surfboards on the vehicle’s roof might have protected the occupants from being crushed.

Firefighters believe surfboards on the vehicle’s roof might have protected the occupants from being crushed. PHOTOS SUPPLIED by IRREWARRA FIRE BRIGADE

FOUR VEHICLES, a caravan and a trailer have been involved in a multi-vehicle collision on the busy Princes Highway near Colac, but all passengers avoided major injuries.

Emergency services attended the highway near Birregurra Creek at Warncoort, east of Colac, about 4pm Friday.

Senior Constable Matt Nauta of Colac said a ute travelling towards Geelong had been towing a trailer, when the trailer became unattached and was moving on the highway by itself.

The driver of a four-wheel drive towing a caravan saw the wayward trailer, and attempted an evasive manoeuvre to avoid hitting it, but both the four-wheel drive and caravan rolled.

A wayward diesel trailer was involved in three crashes on the Princes Highway east of Colac on Friday.

A wayward diesel trailer was involved in three crashes on the Princes Highway east of Colac on Friday.

The wayward trailer then struck a smaller hatchback car, which was carrying two older women.

“The trailer took out the side of the hatchback,” Sen Const Nauta said.

He said a semi-trailer then hit the wayward trailer, sending the semi-trailer off the road and giving it minor damage.

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said paramedics attended the scene, assessing five people, including primary school-aged children, adults in their 40s and a person in their 70s.

No-one sustained serious injuries, but paramedics transferred two people to Colac Hospital for treatment for minor injuries.

Irrewarra Fire Brigade was first on the scene of the crash. Brigade captain John Martin said it was “remarkable” no-one sustained major injuries in the multi-vehicle crash.

The fuel trailer was in a collision with this hatchback, which had two women inside.

The fuel trailer was in a collision with this hatchback, which had two women inside.

“You certainly expect to see injuries in that sort of incident,” Mr Martin said.

He said the wayward trailer was an empty diesel fuel trailer.

Mr Martin said long surfboards strapped to the roof of the rolled four-wheel drive might have saved the occupants from injury.

“It appears the boards dispersed the pressure across a larger surface area of the roof, hence it did not crush the cabin as much,” he said.

“These surfboards probably saved the day for those people.”

The crash happened during a hectic day on the Princes Highway, as thousands of people travelled through Colac and district to holiday destinations and the Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Police diverted traffic away from the crash scene and through Birregurra for about two hours after the crash.

Colac State Emergency Services controller James Ingram said the SES had three vehicles and 10 crew members help at the scene.

Birregurra and Colac fire crews also attended.

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