The impact of being involved in a serious collision can be life changing, with those involved left to recover from both physical and mental injuries.
It was a sunny June morning when David and Emily Jennings decided to travel with a group of friends to Daylesford for lunch.
Departing from Brown Hill, Mr Jennings was talking football with his friend in the passenger seat of his red Mercedes Benz, while his wife discussed gardening and nurseries to visit with her friend in the back seat.
Driving on Ballarat-Daylesford road, they were following a car occupied by the two other couples in their friendship group.
But moments after passing Gong Gong Reservoir, not 10 minutes after setting off, a life changing event occurred about 9.10am.
"I heard one almighty bang and everybody started screaming," an emotional Mr Jennings told The Courier.
He remembers a couple of people stopping to help, before paramedics and firefighters arrived at the scene.
On the day, police told The Courier the two-car collision occurred as "a vehicle with four occupants was overtaking a cyclist and veered onto the wrong side of the road, colliding with another vehicle with a single occupant driver."
However, dash cam footage from Mr Jennings' car has since revealed a different story: he passed the cyclist but did not veer from his lane. Rather, the driver of a white sedan came around the corner, crossed over double lines and crashed straight into his car.
The impact caused the Mercedes to spin sideways before crashing into the embankment while the white car flipped, landed on its roof and slid down the roadway. The cyclist was not injured.
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While his passengers were removed from the car one by one, Mr Jennings was trapped in the wreckage.
The process to free him took about an hour, as the driver's side of the car needed to be cut open so he could be pulled out.
With serious injuries, an air ambulance was called and landed near the scene. After being cut out of his clothes and being medicated for severe pain, he was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
"I remember them wheeling me out of the helicopter but don't remember much after that, until I woke up in ICU," Mr Jennings said.
His three passengers were all taken to the Ballarat Base Hospital, while the 43-year-old driver of the white car was not injured, though taken to hospital for observation.
Mr Jennings' right leg was broken in two places, with a rod surgically implanted. His right foot was also "twisted and mangled" and fractured in multiple places, while his elbow was also injured.
He was in intensive care for seven days before he was moved to the trauma ward, where he stayed for 12 days. Two weeks ago he was transported to the Ballarat Base Hospital and is now at the Queen Elizabeth Centre.
Though with time still needed for his body to heal, the possibility of him moving into an aged care facility for eight weeks is being discussed.
While it has been four and a half weeks since the crash, the current prediction is that he will need to be on bed rest for at least another three months. Once his ankle heals, he will then be able to begin physiotherapy.
The Jennings normally live a busy life, with the majority of their 16 year marriage spent side by side.
So being apart has been particularly challenging, especially when Mr Jennings was in hospital in Melbourne. Recovering from several broken ribs, his wife - who was sitting behind him in the back seat - was unable to travel down to visit, with the pair describing it as "a long 19 days".
But while they recover from physical injuries, they are also coming to terms with the mental trauma.
Mr Jennings has driven trucks all over Australia and while he has been involved in minor accidents, he has never experienced one so traumatic. He has also never spent such a long time in a hospital.
While saddened at his "retirement car" being written off - purchased with funds left over after the sale of their house in Melbourne - he is not sure if he will ever be able to regain the confidence to drive again.
A competent driver, he had the car for almost five years - driving it on several trips up north to Queensland and to Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra.
On impact every airbag in the car went off and he has been told that if it was an older car then it could be a "totally different story".
"People are saying I am lucky to get out of it and I probably am."
He described his current mental state as "a wreck" and that "it doesn't take much to start crying".
After the crash, Ms Jennings was unconscious for a few minutes and when she woke up, distinctly recalls her husband calling out for her. She is haunted by his piercing cries of pain and wakes up in the middle of the night due to nightmares.
Her trauma, though, has presented differently to her husband's.
"I'm angry inside. I can't cry, but I'd like to. It's a numb feeling, really."
She finds it difficult to travel in cars, but does so every day to visit her husband in hospital - even if she needs to close her eyes during the trip. She is planning on seeing a trauma counsellor to talk through her feelings.
"I try to be brave but I can't ignore it. I remember the flowers and my husband who is supposed to be next to me," she said, adding being at home alone sees her anxiety frequently escalate to the point of a panic attack.
"I just really want to be myself again."
While retired, Mr Jennings is normally a very busy man.
He lends a hand at the Carmen Welsh Op Shop a few times each week and every Thursday night the couple go out for dinner with a group of friends.
He enjoys "pottering around home", reading, walking around Lake Wendouree with friends during the warmer months and attending church services on Sundays.
"I'm retired, but I seem to be busy all the time. I don't have much spare time," he said.
The Jennings also enjoy taking trips with friends or as a couple, and look forward to doing all these activities again once they recover.
Though for now Mr Jennings continues to lie in his single hospital bed, where he is consistently medicated with a cocktail of drugs to manage his pain.
While this is how he will spend his seventieth birthday in a couple of weeks, he is looking forward to being discharged so he can return home to his wife and some form of normality.
The Jennings thanked the community and hospital staff for their support since the crash.
Police are still investigating the incident. No charges have yet been laid.
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