Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : December 30th 2015 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015 - PAGE 3
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SOUTH Gippsland made the worst
possible start to the Christmas-New Year
holiday season last week when a 24 year
old Korumburra woman was killed in a
single-vehicle accident at Koonwarra on
She was a passenger in a car driven by
her boyfriend, a 24 year old man from
Foster; the couple reportedly returning
from late-night shopping in Melbourne
when the incident happened shortly be-
Police believe fatigue and not speed was
the main factor.
The incident prompted an impassioned
plea to holiday road users from senior
police who attended the scene as part of
the Major Collision Investigation Unit re-
Against the chilling backdrop of an up-
turned car, in the middle of the South
Gippsland Highway, and all the signs of a
tragic accident, Detective Sergeant David
Newman said the incident would have a
terrible impact on the families involved.
“We understand they were coming back
from Melbourne after late night Christ-
mas shopping,” he said.
“The driver and passenger were boy-
friend and girlfriend.
“It’s a terrible start to Christmas.
“It’s a time of high stress, we know that,
and there’s a lot more traffic on the road.
“People are in a hurry to get to where
they are going.
“But for the two families involved it’s
going to be a terrible Christmas for them
and will be for a long time to come.
“At Christmas, at New Year we just want
people to get to where they are going safe-
ly, as opposed to quickly.
“It’s supposed to be a time of celebra-
tion and we all need to be doing what we
can to keep it that way.
“Don’t over-indulge, don’t be distracted,
and don’t drive when you’re tired or af-
fected by alcohol or drugs.
“Clearly with an accident like this, early
in the morning, fatigue is likely to be the
“We don’t believe speed was a factor
but it was in a 100km/h zone and when
something goes wrong at that speed, the
impact can cause a lot of damage.
“The collision has gone for over 100
“The weather conditions were fine,
the road straight and driving conditions
Det Sgt Newman said incidents of this
kind also had an effect on the emergency
services people who attended the scene,
noting that his team had attended a fatal-
ity in suburban Melbourne before coming
down to South Gippsland to investigate
the fatality at Koonwarra.
“It’s really terrible every time there’s a
fatality but more so at Christmas for the
families directly involved and also for the
emergency service personnel.
“They should be spending the time with
their families, not with us.
“It just takes a split second at speed
to get into serious difficulty. That’s why
you’ve got to stay alert.
“We’ve seen it all too often. That’s why
our aim now is to get the annual road toll
down to zero but sadly this year we are
going to finish higher than last year.
“You’re not going to be able to have that
sort of impact on the road toll unless ev-
eryone takes responsibility for their ac-
tions. Don’t speed, don’t drink and drive
and don’t use drugs and drive.”
The fatality lifted the 2015 road toll for
Victoria to 251, one above the total for the
whole of 2014. The toll presently stands
THE South Gippsland
Highway was blocked for
more than eight hours
last Thursday, December
24 after a fatal road ac-
cident on the Leongatha
side of Koonwarra.
It is believed the ac-
cident occurred shortly
before 5am when a silver,
3-series BMW, heading
south, crossed on to the
wrong side of the highway,
800 metres past Gwyther
Siding Road, mounted an
embankment, hit a con-
crete culvert and rolled
over several times.
Police said the 24 year
old male driver from Fos-
ter and his female pas-
senger from Korumburra,
also 24, were returning
home after late-night
shopping in Melbourne.
They said the male
driver appeared to have
fallen asleep and the fe-
male passenger, who may
not have been wearing a
seatbelt, was ejected from
The driver, who re-
ceived back injuries and
was later airlifted from
the Leongatha Hospital,
CPR on his girlfriend but
she died at the scene.
Detective Sergeant Da-
vid Newman of the Major
Unit said he believed fa-
tigue rather than speed
was the main contribut-
“He’s maybe gone to
sleep. We spoke to him
briefly before he was
taken to hospital and will
be speaking with him fur-
ther in the days ahead,”
said Det Sgt Newman.
“We’re not saying speed
was a factor but it was in
a 100km/h zone and it
only takes a split second
at speed to get into seri-
He said the police were
continuing with their in-
Traffic was diverted
around the location while
police surveyed the scene.
At one stage, a B-double
truck loaded with hay had
to be backed up the high-
way to Beilbys Road be-
fore it could turn around
and exit the scene.
Natalie El-Ali, formerly
a member of the Korum-
burra Soccer Club, and
a hospitality employee
at Foster. A funeral ser-
vice was conducted at the
Faulkner Memorial Park
Cemetery today, Wednes-
day, December 30. A me-
morial page has been set
up on Facebook.
A police officer from the Major Collision Investigation Unit conducts his investigation at the scene of a
fatal accident on the South Gippsland Highway, near Koonwarra, on Christmas Eve. m105215
Local fatality at Koonwarra
The officer in charge of the scene of a Christmas Eve fatality, on the
South Gippsland Highway at Koonwarra, Detective Sergeant David New-
man of the Major Collision Investigation Unit fronts the TV cameras with
a plea to drivers to take extra care on the roads during the holiday season.
Officers from Victoria Police’s Major Collision Investiga-
tion Unit collect details from the scene of a Christmas Eve
fatality at Koonwarra. M095215
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