Man was close to home before fatal crash

Picture: Channel 9
Picture: Channel 9

Ballarat police have urged motorists to slow down after a man lost control and died in a horror crash.

The 50-year-old’s blue ute was travelling on Pomonal Road in Stawell when it veered off the road and flipped before hitting a tree on Sunday night. 

Sources said the man was close to his home before crashing and that investigators were looking into whether speed was a contributing factor.

Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale and Acting Inspector Tim Argall breah test drivers in Ballarat today. Picture: Kate Healy

Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale and Acting Inspector Tim Argall breah test drivers in Ballarat today. Picture: Kate Healy

The man’s badly damaged ute was found upside down when emergency crews arrived and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other vehicles were involved in the incident.

The tragedy brought this year’s road toll to 92 lives as police flooded Ballarat’s streets as part of a road safety blitz called Operation Regal.

Officers had detected 150 offences on the city’s roads as of Monday afternoon since the operation began on Friday.

This included catching seven allegedly intoxicated drivers.

Highway Patrol member Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale called on Ballarat motorists to play it safe as his team prepared to hit the roads on Monday evening.

“The Monday night tends to be the biggest, it tends to build with people coming home,” he said.

“Please remain vigilant and patient as you make your way home.”

Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer, Victoria’s top traffic cop, said in a Facebook video there had been more than a dozen fatalities and thousands of injuries on the roads during the long weekend in previous years.

“We want to make sure the community plays their part - please separate your behaviours of either using drugs or alcohol and then driving,” he said.

“That activity of mixing the two will always end in tragedy. 

“So please, everyone do their part. Police will be holding their line and we just want the community do their part in keeping everyone safe."

Meanwhile, there was chaos on the Western Freeway this afternoon as traffic banked up in the Melbourne-bound lanes around the Pykes Creek roadworks. 

Highway Patrol officers told drivers to take a detour through Ballan.