THE operator of a therapeutic farm in Myers Flat, where a car came to a rest after running off the road and between two trees yesterday has highlighted the wide-reaching effects of road trauma.
“I want people to know that when you lose control of a vehicle that the impact is much greater than just the driver or those that may have been in the vehicle,” Kristy Kemp said.
The social worker said she had seen a lot of serious crashes on the bend in the Loddon Valley Highway in the 30 years she’d been at the property.
“We’d be into double figures, I reckon,” she said.
She was grateful yesterday’s crash was not among the worst of them, with the driver of the vehicle believed to have escaped severe injury despite his car rolling before coming to a stop.
Mrs Kemp said it was also fortunate that the paddock and the shaded area close to the roadside weren’t in greater use at the time of the crash, either by clients or by her own family.
“We were very lucky,” she said.
“It could have been very different.”
She and her family wished the gentleman a speedy recovery and thanked the emergency services that responded, as well as all those who stopped to assist.
But there would still be people she had to speak with about loss and grief as a result of the crash – including her own children, who she said were distraught at the death of two sheep injured when the car rolled into the paddock.
“They’re not just sheep. They’re part of my therapeutic team,” Mrs Kemp said.
Her business, Flash Farm, offers animal-assisted therapy for adults and children.
Yesterday started off well for Mrs Kemp and her family as they added another team member – a cow – to their midst.
In an instant, it became about repairing fencing, clearing debris, and ensuring the safety of the other sheep and goats.
She enlisted her father and brother to assist with the aftermath, but was unable to arrange for assistance to bury the dead sheep until Monday, adding to the stress of the situation.
“Please, as drivers we need to think of how our actions have consequences for so many other people. Please drive safe,” Mrs Kemp said.
She urged people to factor in extra travel time during journeys to allow opportunities for breaks – something she said her own family had to do on Saturday during the four-hour trip to collect the cow.
“We’re better off to arrive safely than not at all,” Mrs Kemp said.
POLICE say a man is lucky to be alive after a single-car crash near Woodvale.
Bendigo Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Mick McCrann said the driver of the silver Holden wagon was travelling towards Bendigo on the Loddon Valley Highway about 3pm today when he appeared to have fallen asleep at the wheel.
The 73-year-old man from Kangaroo Flat subsequently lost control of the vehicle, crossing onto the wrong side of the road and then veering off, between a couple of trees.
The car then broke through a fence into a paddock, rolled, and killed a number of sheep.
“You’ve only got to look at the distance between the trees here today – you can barely fit in a vehicle,” Sergeant McCrann said.
“How he’s managed to do that at 100 kilometres an hour or less is just beyond me.”
He said the driver was taken to Bendigo Hospital for treatment, but was not believed to have been seriously injured.
“He’s very lucky to be alive,” Sergeant McCrann said.
“I’m very grateful we’re not here at a much more serious collision, and I just ask motorists to please be careful.”
Police will prepare a brief of evidence.
“The driver will be looking at being careless in his driving and falling asleep at the wheel,” Sergeant McCrann said.
He urged motorists to think about their fatigue management, especially given the extreme heat and the distances people travel in country Victoria.
“The last thing we want is to attend a scene like this today,” Sergeant McCrann said.
He also encouraged motorists to observe the 40km/h limit when passing emergency vehicles.
“I think anybody that’s ever attended the scenes that I go to would appreciate that the laws are there to protect everybody at the scene, including witnesses, family members, people involved and the emergency vehicles,” Sergeant McCrann said.
“I plead with the motorists of Victoria to slow down when they see those emergency lights on the side of the road.
“We’re doing the best we can to make the road safe for everybody, and you’re only adding to the risk if you don’t slow down to 40km/h.”
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