A truck driver is expected to be charged over a head-on crash which killed a mother and her son and left the father and the couple’s baby and toddler fighting for their lives.
Police said the truck was travelling on the wrong side of the Murray Valley Highway at Brimin, near Rutherglen, about 300 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, when it collided with the car carrying the family about 9.50pm on Friday.
The family had been out for dinner and were returning to their home nearby.
The woman, 37, who was believed to be the driver of the car, died at the scene.
Her 12-year-old son also died at the scene.
An eight-month-old boy and a two-year-old boy, and the three children’s 44-year-old father, were flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the truck, a 31-year-old Mooroopna man, stopped and assisted at the scene.
He was later taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Victoria Police Road Policing Command Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said the man was in police custody but had not yet been interviewed.
Superintendent Fitzpatrick said police would lay charges against the man over the crash.
He said the man had been drug-tested, as is standard practice, but the results of those tests were not yet available.
He said detectives would also investigate whether fatigue, distraction or speed had been factors in the collision.
Speaking earlier at the scene, Detective Sergeant Daryll Out, from the Major Collision Investigation Unit described the crash as “an absolute tragedy”.
“You have five members of the same family that potentially could lose their lives in the one incident,” he said.
Sergeant Out urged drivers to be vigilant.
“It’s 10.30 at night, it’s dark and people might be getting tired and if you are tired you need to take extreme care and manage your fatigue levels,” he said.
Motorcyclist killed in Melbourne’s north-east
Less than 12 hours after the collision at Brimin, a motorcyclist died in a crash at Yarrambat.
Police said the rider, believed to be a man in his 30s, lost control and crashed while travelling west on Ironbark Road about 9.30am.
Emergency services were called to the scene but were unable to save the man.
The crash brings Victoria’s road toll for 2018 to 174, 26 fewer than at the same point last year.
Anyone with information about either crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.