By Lia Bichel
A HORROR smash in Berwick on the weekend left a Pakenham woman trapped under a semi-trailer in her mangled car for more than two hours.
A veteran CFA officer described the resulting rescue as the most difficult in 30 years.
CFA crews used almost every piece of rescue equipment they had to free Rebecca Bishop, 27, from her Holden Viva station wagon.
Berwick CFA captain Alan Boyd said he was amazed Mrs Bishop escaped alive.
“It was the most difficult rescues I and many of the others have performed in more than 30 years. It was miraculous Bec survived,” he said.
“We were staggered that she escaped with relatively minor injuries given the destruction of the car and the time it took for us to cut her out.”
Police said the crash occurred about 8.30am Saturday, on the Princes Freeway at the Soldiers Road overpass.
Capt Boyd said Berwick fire brigade and two heavy rescue trucks from Dandenong attended the scene, and almost every piece of equipment had to be used to free her from the car.
‘The car was wedged under the prime mover in such a way we couldn’t get easy access to her,” he said.
“It was a long and intricate job. We had to winch her out of the car and cut off the roof to get her out, and she was conscious throughout. Everyone worked really well together.”
Police said Mrs Bishop was flown to The Alfred hospital with serious injuries and the driver of the truck, a 37-year-old Traralgon man, was taken to Dandenong Hospital with serious chest injuries.
The freeway was closed for seven hours following the crash causing chaos as traffic was diverted through Clyde and Cardinia townships and Berwick Village.
Mrs Bishop’s husband Nick told the Gazette she was expected to stay in hospital for a few more days and said they were grateful for support shown by family, friends and the community.
“She’s doing fine and we are just concentrating on her recovery at the moment,” he said.
“We want to say thankyou to everyone for their support and get well wishes during her recovery.”
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision and they would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision or has information that may assist investigators.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.
By Lia Bichel