One person killed after head-on crash between car and bus at Sulky, north of Ballarat

The bus driver being stretchered after being freed from the bus. Photo: Lachlan Bence.
The bus driver being stretchered after being freed from the bus. Photo: Lachlan Bence.

Thursday 5.30pm: The bus company involved in the crash, CDC Victoria, has released an official statement following yesterday’s fatal collision. 

CDC Victoria CEO Nicholas Yap said the company had organised for a trauma counsellor to be on site at the Ballarat depot all day, assisting drivers and staff. 

“We will continue to support our driver and his family. Our thoughts also go out to all who have been affected by this horrific incident,” he said. 

Thursday 3pm: A man who was airlifted from the crash scene at Sulky to the Alfred Hospital on Wednesday afternoon remains in a critical but stable condition, a spokesperson has confirmed.

A woman who was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been discharged. 

Three injured passengers who were transported by road ambulance to the Ballarat Base Hospital on Wednesday afternoon were not admitted to hospital overnight after being treated in the emergency department. 

Investigators believe the bus driver was not at fault.

Wednesday 5.40pm: An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson has confirmed the driver of the bus and one passenger have been airlifted to hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

One has been flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the other to the Alfred Hospital.

Three other people have been taken by road ambulance to the Ballarat Base Hospital. 

Paramedics assessed four other patients at the scene who have not been taken to hospital. 

Bus company CDC Victoria have confirmed buses are still running the route to and from Creswick. 

Public Transport Victoria stated the route will miss stops along Midland Highway between Sulky Road and Victoria Street in Creswick.

5.15pm: Acting Inspector Deon Townsend-Smith addressed the media at the scene of the crash.

Acting Inspector Townsend-Smith urged motorists to drive to conditions, but could not confirm the cause of the crash. 

“In regards to being on a bus, just going about your day – even to the deceased driver who was just going about their day – would have been no doubt traumatic for them,” he said. 

“We’re just in the investigation stage, so can’t determine what the cause is at this time. But given the wet weather, and we talk about distraction offences and stuff like that. But I can’t pinpoint that at this time.

“The roads aren’t necessarily dangerous, sometimes unfortunately it can be the drivers who are dangerous … it doesn’t matter what the road is, you just have to drive to condition at the end of the day.

“A one hundred kilometre zone doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do 100 if the road surface is not up to scratch, or it’s wet or it’s muddy.”

You can watch his video here.

In a statement, Victoria Police said it was believed the car has veered onto the wrong side of the road, before colliding with the bus.

The male driver of the sedan, who is yet to be identified, died at the scene.

The driver of the bus and one passenger have sustained serious injuries and have been airlifted to hospital for treatment.

Seven other passengers on the bus have sustained minor injuries and are being treated at the scene.

4.20pm: One person has been killed after a horror crash between a bus and a car on the Midland Highway, north of Ballarat.

The driver of the car is dead, according to a Victoria Police spokesperson, while the bus driver remains trapped on the bus.

At least two air ambulances are en route to the devastating scene, with multiple people requiring treatment.

The bus was a CDC Ballarat bus and the car was a silver sedan.

The bus appeared to be heading north, while the car was travelling towards Ballarat.

The first air ambulance arrived about 4.20pm.

3.30pm: The Midland Highway to the north of Ballarat is blocked in both directions after a serious crash between a bus and a car.

All emergency services are rushing to the incident, which occurred just north of the railway crossing about 3.20pm.

Multiple police and at least seven CFA rescue units are on scene, with reports of one person trapped.

It is understood the highway is blocked from Kennedys Road and Kellys Road – a 2.5km stretch on the highway. 

The full extent of injuries are not yet known, although they are believed to be serious and a number of people treated.

The Major Collision Investigation Unit is en route.