7 People taken to hospital after spate of accidents

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Seven people have been taken to hospital following a spate of accidents caused by wild weather across Victoria. Fallen trees triggered four separate incidents in a 10-hour stretch that  left seven people in hospital, including two with serious injuries.  The accidents came as wind gusts of up to 145km/h were recorded at Wilsons Promontory and 98km/h near Avalon Airport at Point Wilson.

In the first incident five people were taken to hospital after their car crashed into a fallen tree on the Moyston-Dunkeld Road at Moyston in Victoria’s west at 11.30pm Friday.

A primary school aged boy with head and chest injuries was flown to Melbourne and transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a serious condition.

A teenage boy with collarbone injuries, a man aged in his 20s with chest and facial injuries, a toddler with minor facial injuries and a woman in her 30s with chest pain were all taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition.

At 8.25am on Saturday a woman suffered facial injuries when her car crashed into a fallen tree on the Strzelecki Highway at Berry’s Creek in the state’s east.

She was taken to Latrobe Regional Hospital in a stable condition.

Ten minutes later a man was struck by a large tree branch while trying to clear a fallen tree from the Foxhow-Berrybank Road at Berrybank in the state’s west.

He was taken to Geelong Hospital with serious chest injuries.

At 9.30am a car was hit by falling tree in Westernport Road at Drouin South, east of Melbourne.

A man was assessed at the scene.

A Victoria SES spokeswoman said volunteers had been called to 257 incidents across the state since midnight, including 214 reports for fallen trees.

“That has been the vast majority of the work,” she said.

“Requests have been coming from right across the state, a wide area has been affected.”

The SES is warning of more strong winds in coming days and is encouraging people to prepare by securing any loose items and driving carefully on the roads.

Mount Buller recorded 26 centimetres of snowfall overnight, after a day of high winds.

Buller Ski Lifts general manager Laurie Blampied said the snow cover was now up to 70 centimetres, with a very high chance of snow falling each day until Thursday when it will ease back to “snow showers”.

“Days like this when you wake up to deep fresh snow outside make those windy and wild ones worth it,” he said.

“The storm hit hard yesterday, which was hard on everyone, so it’s wonderful to see it brought the goods and we can enjoy it all today.”

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Scott Williams said statewide warnings for damaging winds were cancelled about 4pm on Saturday, with Monday expected to be the next really “blowy” day.

“It’s still very windy right on the coastal fringes but there will be a further easing tonight, so we won’t see strong winds back to that extent until probably Monday.

“It’s reasonably windy tomorrow afternoon/evening as another weaker front comes across us and we’ll get another burst of showers with that and we’ll probably see winds gusting around 70-80km/h fairly widely through southern and mountain Victoria.

“A second front that will come through late on Monday into Monday evening looks like producing winds above 90km/h at least in southern districts, possibly not getting north of the divide but certainly southern parts of Victoria look pretty blowy Monday night.

“Melbourne tomorrow will see gustiness to about 75km/h in the afternoon, so that’s less than today, and on Monday we do stand a chance of getting up to 90km/h gusts in the afternoon/evening and it’s probably even a little bit worse on the coast, like the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island and those areas, it will be 90-100km/h gusts.”

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