FOURTEEN people have been treated in hospital and another 12 were lucky to avoid injury after a day of horror on our roads, but miraculously none of the injuries were considered life threatening.
In the worst incident, 13 people, including children, were taken to hospital and one person airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition after a bus and a tractor towing a heavy haulage trailer collided in the heart of Lexton just before 2pm.
The bus was carrying 21 students and three teachers from the Ballarat Specialist School.
Six people on board the bus were transferred by ambulance to the Ballarat Base Hospital in stable conditions while another six were conveyed by another bus for observation.
The driver of the tractor escaped without injury.
The Sunraysia Highway was blocked for most of the afternoon as police conducted investigations. Ballarat Traffic Management Unit Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale said investigators would take their time in determining the cause of the incident.
Locals The Courier spoke to said while the incident occurred on an intersection with a stop sign, it was unusual for something so serious to happen.
"We've had a few scrapes, but nothing like this," a shopkeeper said.
"I didn't see the incident myself, but I heard an almighty thump, hopefully everyone will be okay."
A Department of Education spokesperson said the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is always our number one priority.
"Department regional staff attended the scene of the accident immediately to support students and staff," the spokesperson said..
"The Department will continue to work with the school, staff, students and their families during this difficult time."
Earlier a 61-year-old man escaped with lower back pain and a sore arm after his car rolled over south of Enfield on the Colac-Ballarat Road.
The man was the only occupant of the small red sedan which lost control on a relatively straight stretch of road in the Enfield State Forest. The car crossed lanes and hit an embankment on the other side of the road, before coming to rest on its roof.
Senior Constable Tony Walker said it was a miracle the man had basically walked away from the crash which would have occurred at around 100km/h.
"He's incredibly lucky, it could have been a whole lot worse," he said.
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