Air ambulance forced down after Western Victoria road smash

Warrnambool’s HEMS 4 air ambulance arrives at Garvoc, only to later be forced down east of Cressy with rotor problems. 140821DW96

Warrnambool’s HEMS 4 air ambulance arrives at Garvoc, only to later be forced down east of Cressy with rotor problems. 140821DW96

THE south-west’s emergency helicopter made a dramatic forced landing last night while carrying a woman badly injured in a road smash at Garvoc.

The HEMS 4 air ambulance set down in a paddock west of Cressy about 8.35pm after experiencing a mechanical problem during its emergency dash to Melbourne.

The Warrnambool-based helicopter is believed to have developed rotor problems soon after leaving the scene of the Garvoc accident.

It was carrying four people, including the injured woman, and managed to make a controlled landing off Barunah Plains Road, close to the Hamilton Highway, near Wingeel. 

A second air ambulance was called in and landed beside the grounded HEMS 4 about an hour later.

The injured woman was transferred to the second helicopter, which flew her to The Alfred hospital. 

The stricken helicopter was then able to be flown back to Melbourne for assessment by an engineer.

Warrnambool’s HEMS 4 air ambulance arrives at Garvoc, only to later be forced down east of Cressy with rotor problems. 140821DW96

Warrnambool’s HEMS 4 air ambulance arrives at Garvoc, only to later be forced down east of Cressy with rotor problems. 140821DW96

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said the organisation was unsure of the reasons behind the mechanical issues. 

The woman, aged in her 30s, had been critically injured in a two-car collision on a bridge on the Princes Highway at Garvoc.

The woman was trapped in her vehicle for 90 minutes and was worked on by ambulance officers for nearly another hour before being put on the HEMS 4.

Ambulance Victoria said the woman had been trapped by her legs and also suffered chest injuries. 

There were no reports of injuries to anyone else involved in the accident.

The accident occurred about 5.30pm on the Garvoc bridge near the Princes Highway’s intersection with the Garvoc School Road.

It blocked the highway in both directions for several hours. East-bound traffic on the highway was diverted to the Great Ocean Road at Allansford for a period.

- The Standard

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