By Gabriella Payne
Emergency service responders are urging drivers to stay safe and alert behind the wheel, after three separate car accidents occurred on Cardinia Shire roads within a matter of hours.
All three accidents happened in the peak hour period on the morning of Wednesday 27 October, with the first one (in Officer) being called in at around 8am.
Andrew Smith from Fire Rescue Victoria attended the first crash, which reportedly occurred on the Cardinia Road inbound ramp to the Monash Freeway (Princes Freeway).
He described the collision, involving a truck and a car, as a “major hit” which could have ended very badly.
“That could have been a fatality – it was a really big hit,” Mr Smith said.
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson confirmed that paramedics had been called to the scene of the Officer crash, but said that thankfully no one was seriously injured.
“Ambulance Victoria was called to a report of a collision involving a truck just before 8am this morning in Officer,” they said.
“One person was assessed at the scene but wasn’t taken to hospital.”
Traffic was slow moving in both directions on the Monash Freeway that morning, after a multi-vehicle collision happened in the outbound lanes as well, at around 9am.
This second accident in Officer occurred between the BP truck stop and the Cardinia Road exit, causing a bottleneck of vehicles as they veered around the left-lane accident.
At almost the same time in Pakenham, another multi-car collision caused a car to flip on its side on the Princes Highway, at the corner of Army Road.
Constable Kalin Ewaz from the Pakenham Police said that thankfully everyone involved in this crash was OK, but it was a scary experience for all involved nonetheless.
“It appears that this vehicle [flipped car] was trying to make a U-turn [on the Princes Highway, heading east, away from Pakenham],” Constable Ewaz said.
“I believe they’ve had a green light, so they’ve continued to make a U-turn, while the blue vehicle was heading east on the Princes Highway – they had that green U-turn as well, so they’ve thought it was a straight green and have gone straight through the red light.”
It’s believed that the car that went through the red light then collided with the U-turning vehicle, causing it to flip on its side.
The woman who was driving the car that flipped was treated at the scene by paramedics, but appeared to have had a lucky escape.
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said that she was treated “for upper body injuries” and later “taken to Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition”.
Constable Ewaz said that he wasn’t sure why there had been so many accidents in such a short space of time – but it was a good reminder to everyone to take care when behind the wheel.
“Everyone is going back to work at the moment and it’s going to be peak hour, so it won’t be the same as a few days ago,” he said.
“Please be mindful on the roads.”
Andrew Smith from Fire Rescue Victoria reiterated Constable Ewaz’ sentiments and said that now that lockdown had been lifted, more and more people were getting back on the roads.
“Because people haven’t been driving for so long and there’s so much traffic now, they just need to slow down and just be mindful of how to drive again,” Mr Smith said.