DEALING with everything from searches and crashes to assaults and fraud, local police have been extremely busy over the last week.
An accident on the South Gippsland Highway on Saturday afternoon saw the highway closed for nearly eight hours. It occurred at about 1.45pm when the driver of a truck carrying 400 sheep from Deniliquin to the ferry at Port Welshpool lost control of his vehicle on the Franklin River bends at Toora, as he was heading south. The truck tipped over, landing on the passenger side and blocking the entire highway. The driver, a 58-year-old man from Waaia, in northern Victoria, sustained head injuries, fortunately not serious. He was taken to hospital.
A second truck, carrying a further 400 sheep, was following the first truck, with a car in between. Both drivers managed to pull up in time, the second truck driver only narrowly avoiding the car in front.
The road was closed from 1.45pm until 10pm as police dealt with the chaos. Foster police sergeant Neil Coates said that the police were very fortunate to have the assistance of the Toora CFA, the Foster CFA, the Fish Creek CFA and the Meeniyan CFA, who between them were able to conduct traffic diversion duties. The diversions were set up at Grip Road, Toora and Charity Lane, Foster, diverting all traffic along the Lower Road.
“Without these volunteers in our community, who give up their time to help in an emergency, the local police would not be able to deal with such a situation,” said Sgt Coates. “Further to that, there were numerous local truck drivers and farmers who set up temporary sheep yards to capture the sheep, and loaded them onto other local trucks. I might add that police are extremely disappointed with the response from other agencies. Approximately 80 to 100 sheep either died on impact or had to be destroyed, and it took several hours before anyone would take responsibility for the removal of the carcases.”
Bass Coast Traffic Management Unit will be preparing a brief of evidence against the truck driver.
DETECTIVES from Wonthaggi Criminal Investigation Unit are investigating an incident which occurred last Friday, September 19, in which a man was allegedly abducted from Leongatha. The man alleged that his motor vehicle was stolen and dumped somewhere in the bush, near the beach, in an area unknown to him.
After a search involving police from Foster, Toora, Inverloch and Korumburra, the man was eventually located on the Corner Inlet beach at Yanakie. The police helicopter was used to retrieve him and convey him to Foster police station. His badly damaged vehicle was located in Davies Road (off the Prom Road), Yanakie. It is believed that the vehicle was dumped at this location between 6.30am and 7.30am on the Friday. Police are asking anyone who may have seen any people or vehicles in the vicinity of Davies Road around this time to come forward.
Following on from this incident, a 26-year-old man went missing in the bush on the edge of Foster, in the vicinity of Cement Hill. Since the police helicopter was already in the area, it was used in the search. The man was eventually located in the Meeniyan area later on Friday morning.
ACCIDENT AT FOSTER INTERSECTION
THERE was a collision at the intersection of the South Gippsland Highway and the road into Foster at about 1.15pm last Sunday.
A 39-year-old Stratford woman, who was driving a vehicle towing a trailer carrying two sheep, approached the intersection from Foster and attempted to turn right onto the highway in the direction of Toora. She apparently failed to see a vehicle heading along the highway from Toora in the direction of Leongatha. This was being driven by a 32-year-old Yarram woman. It struck the rear of the Stratford woman’s vehicle and also the trailer. There were three children in the Yarram woman’s car – a 12-year-old, a 10-year-old and a three-year-old. Two of them sustained minor injuries and were conveyed to South Gippsland Hospital in Foster for treatment, but were not admitted. No-one else was injured, though the Yarram woman’s car was a write-off and the other vehicle substantially damaged. One sheep had to be put down and the other escaped.
The Stratford woman will receive a penalty notice for failing to give way. It will include a $295 fine and three demerit points.
Sgt Neil Coates from Foster police station commented: “This is another accident at this intersection which clearly can be attributed to driver error and misjudgement. It was a sunny, clear day and the driver clearly did not stop and assess the intersection prior to moving on.”
AT AROUND 2.30am on Saturday, September 20, two large rocks were thrown through the window of 12 Gunn Street, Toora. Inside the house were a young couple with a two-year-old child and a one-month-old baby. Police are still investigating this matter and are seeking witnesses.
SOME time in the afternoon of September 20, a 22-year-old Toora man became involved in a dispute with a 17-year-old Toora youth. As a result, a short time later the 22-year-old was walking in Cunningham Street, Toora, when another man pulled up in a vehicle and assaulted him. Foster police are following up enquiries in relation to this incident.
ONLINE SALES CAUTION
A LOCAL woman has reported to police that she purchased an iPhone through the website Gumtree for $160 and paid the money into the owner’s account around two months ago but has not received the phone. The case, said Foster police sergeant Neil Coates, serves as a warning. “People need to make sure when dealing through these websites that the people are legitimate,” he said.