A 23-year-old Melbourne man, killed when his ute smashed into a tree west of Rochester on Saturday night, was not found until several hours after the crash.
The man – from the south-eastern suburb of Heatherton – was driving along the Bendigo-Tennyson Road near Milloo when it is believed his car ran off the road and hit a tree sometime before 10pm.
It’s understood locals drove past the scene and noticed some debris but not the crushed ute which was about four to five metres from the road.
It was not until 1am that a passing driver saw the car and phoned triple-0.
Police attended just after 1.30am and found the driver had died at the scene.
He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
The SES and Tennyson CFA also attended.
It’s understood the impact of the crash was so severe that the car had to be pulled down from the tree by SES crews.
The fatality brings the Victoria’s 2012 provisional road toll to 173.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit
Meanwhile, a man in his 30s escaped with minor chest injuries when the ute he was driving rolled just north of Rochester yesterday.
The Rochester man was towing another vehicle along the Rochester-Strathallan Road when he lost control of his ute about noon.
Leading Senior Constable Robin Kerr said the man had moved to one side of the road to let another vehicle pass when he hit some loose mud and ruts in the road.
Leading Senior Constable Kerr said the ute rolled and was significantly damaged, but the car it was towing was unaffected.
The driver of the ute suffered chest injuries in the crash and was taken by ambulance to Echuca hospital for observation.
The man being towed, also from Rochester, was issued with a ticket for driving an unregistered vehicle.
Leading Senior Constable Kerr warned drivers unregistered vehicles could not be towed but must be placed on a trailer.