Dave dodges disaster

Truck driver Dave Lynch.

By Casey Neill

 A Ferntree Gully truck driver expertly dodged and weaved this way through a Launching Place car crash scene, dash cam footage shows.

Dave Lynch from Bayswater Mitre 10 then stopped to help those involved in the Tuesday 12 February collision on Warburton Highway.

The 66-year-old was behind the wheel of an eight-tonne crane truck, returning from a delivery up to Millgrove about 2.30pm.

“I just looked at the car getting out of control up the hill,” he said.

“Obviously being in a truck I could see up a lot further over the top of the hill.

“I knew it was going to finish badly.”

Footage from his dash cam shows a light-coloured sedan rounding the bend approaching Gembrook-Launching Place Road, losing traction and veering onto the wrong side of the road.

The video showed the car colliding with a white sedan travelling in the opposite direction, which ended up in a ditch.

The first car continued forward, spinning into a small black hatchback.

Dave dodged the two sedans and debris and stopped his truck just short of the hatchback.

“I’ve been driving trucks now for 34 years,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it.

“I’ve seen aftermaths of accidents and things like that. I’ve seen minor accidents, but nothing like that.”

He told the Mail he got out and went to the aid of the woman behind the wheel of the white sedan, Penny.

“I got the young fella out of the car,” he said.

But Penny’s door was jammed shut and he didn’t want to drag her through the car as he feared her shoulder was dislocated.

A passing ambulance happened upon the scene and stopped. An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said paramedics assessed four patients and took two to Maroondah Hospital.

“I was there for about an hour and a half and then the police said I could go – after they breath-tested me,” he said.

“I wasn’t shaken.

“I got a bit upset when I saw the toddler in the car with the blood on his head and everything.

“It was blood off his mother and he was fine.

“I did get a bit choked up with the kid.

“You don’t like to see children in distress.

“Adults can look after themselves pretty well but kids can’t.”

Dave told his workmates about the crash when he got back to the yard.

He was met with good-natured ribbing along the lines of “when you’re finished with the accident, could you go and pick up this from work?”

“Wednesday morning they took the chip out of the dash cam, put it through the computer and went ‘holy hell’,” Dave laughed.

He was inundated with interview requests after his Bayswater Mitre 10 team posted the dash cam footage online, but found time among his 15 minutes of fame to visit Penny in hospital.

Dave was pleased to hear that her son was well and attending creche.

“Children get over things a bit quicker when they get back into routine, I think,” he said.

“They were discharging her today,” he said on Thursday 14 February.

“She had broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder and a lot of bruising.”

Dave makes a lot of deliveries to Warburton, Millgrove and surrounds and regularly passes through the offending stretch.

He said it was an 80km zone but he thought 70km would be more appropriate.

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