By Mitchell Clarke
It was a wild weekend for emergency services as destructive winds wreaked havoc and brought down a number of large trees.
VICSES Pakenham Unit were called out to reports of a car crashing into a tree on Westernport Road in Drouin South on Saturday 7 September, just before 5am.
Remarkably, the driver in his 20s only received minor injuries as Pakenham and Warragul SES worked alongside Nar Nar Goon CFA for about an hour to free the young driver.
Rescuers were forced to remove the tray at the rear of the Ute before removing the doors and roof, extricating the driver from the back of the destroyed Nissan Navara.
It’s believed the tree had already fallen when the driver collided, not noticing the large hazard until it was too late.
Meanwhile, the following day the unit was called to car which had also hit a tree on the same stretch of road just before 6am, about 10km away in Heath Hill.
In a similar situation, the tree had fallen over the road and the car had driven directly into its path.
Amazingly, the male occupant was able to get out of the vehicle without any assistance, walking away with only a laceration to his head.
Crew from the Pakenham Unit cleared the tree from the car to ensure the vehicle could be towed away and the road cleared.
Late Sunday night, 8 September, another large tree fell onto a car on Army Road in Pakenham, luckily there was no rescue needed with this one as the driver made their way from the vehicle.
VICSES Pakenham media officer Shayne Honey said it was remarkable that all drivers walked away relatively unscathed.
“These incidents are timely reminders to those in our community to be vigilant when driving during and after strong winds, especially at night or early morning where visibility is at its lowest,” Mr Honey said.