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Car crash at Daylesford pub: Horror twist after five die including two children as car ploughs into Royal Hotel beer garden, Melbourne


Witnesses have relived the horrifying moments a BMW SUV driven by an elderly man slammed into a packed beer garden killing five people including a child and a teenager.

The out-of-control white BMW X5, driven by a a 66-year-old man from Mt Macedon, ploughed into patrons seated in the courtyard of the historic Royal Hotel at Daylesford, north west of Melbourne at 6.05pm on Sunday.

The pub was busy with hundreds of patrons in the hours before the crash due to the unofficial long weekend before Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup public holiday.

The white BMW SUV struck patrons killing five including two men, one woman, a boy thought to be six years old and a teenage girl and injuring several others. 

Victoria Police Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said investigators were still trying to determine what happened and were waiting to interview the driver who was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. 

The white BMW X5 (pictured) ploughed into patrons seated in the courtyard of the historic Royal Hotel at Daylesford, north west of Melbourne at 6.05pm on Sunday

The white BMW X5 (pictured) ploughed into patrons seated in the courtyard of the historic Royal Hotel at Daylesford, north west of Melbourne at 6.05pm on Sunday

It’s unknown whether the 66-year-old man suffered a medical episode causing the accident.

Superintendent Fitzpatrick said the scene was extremely confronting and it was likely friends and family watched their loved ones die. 

‘I haven’t seen something this drastic for a long time. Any time you have five people die at the one scene – it’s horrible,’ Mr Fitzpatrick said.

‘We don’t like to see anyone lose their life but to see a child – you never want to see anything like that.’

Local woman, Rhonda White, who has lived in Daylesford for 40 years, said the usually quiet country town was transformed into a scene worse than any movie.

She saw bodies vaporised into a cloud of blood and gore when they were struck at speed by the car.

‘There were bodies everywhere. It was horrifying. I watched the whole crash,’ she said.

‘The car went up into the sky. I thought it was just dust. It’s only now I know it was bodies. I can’t explain what I saw, something I wouldn’t even see in a movie. 

‘The car going up, flicking lights and I only realised later, they were all bodies around us – they were bodies I was watching.’ 

Ms White described people ‘screaming and shouting’ in the aftermath, scarcely able to believe what they’d seen. 

Another local woman working next door to the pub said was the most ‘traumatic’ thing she’d ever seen.

Her staff walked outside to see bodies laying on the pavement.

‘We’re all pretty shocked,’ she said.

‘It’s pretty bad, I’ve never seen anything so traumatic in my life.’

One witness said she saw the car go 'up in the sky' and thought she saw a cloud of dust explode - but now realises it was 'bodies'

One witness said she saw the car go ‘up in the sky’ and thought she saw a cloud of dust explode – but now realises it was ‘bodies’

The white BMW SUV struck patrons killing five including two men, one woman, a boy thought to be six years old and a teenage girl and injuring several others

The white BMW SUV struck patrons killing five including two men, one woman, a boy thought to be six years old and a teenage girl and injuring several others

Eye witnesses said the badly-damaged BMW remained on the scene as emergency services arrived and frantically rushed to the aid of the injured patrons

 Eye witnesses said the badly-damaged BMW remained on the scene as emergency services arrived and frantically rushed to the aid of the injured patrons

Trevor Weston from Ambulance Victoria said the crash site was extremely confronting and distressing for first responders. 

‘It was obviously very confronting and quite chaotic when the first initial crews arrived… there were a number of injured persons being assisted by members of the public and other patrons in the facility,’ Mr Weston told Sunrise on Monday.

‘Any incident involving children is obviously that next level distressing for our paramedics.’

Crews that responded last night did so professionally and provided the best care they could for all of those patients.’

Mr Weston said first responders were debriefed on Sunday night with Ambulance Victoria providing further welfare and support for the coming days and weeks as needed. 

Mr Weston added Daylesford’s ‘close-knit’ community was reeling from the horror crash.

I can only imagine what community would be feeling this morning, with a close-knit community and some of the initial crews responding were from Daylesford,’ Mr Weston said. 

‘Of course our thoughts are with them and you never want to respond to an incident like this especially in your home town.’

Eye witnesses said the badly-damaged BMW remained on the scene as emergency services arrived and frantically rushed to the aid of the injured patrons. 

Its bumper bar was all but torn off and its bonnet crushed from the force of the impacts.

Police, ambulance and fire crews, plus the Victorian SES all quickly converged on the scene. 

The horror crash put a further seven people in hospitals from Ballarat to Melbourne, including four who had to be airlifted and are fighting for their lives.

One of them is the driver of the BMW, a 67-year-old man from Mt Macedon, whom eye witnesses saw sitting motionless in his car for 10 minutes after the devastating impact.

The pub is understood to have been busy all weekend and the courtyard – overlooking the town’s roundabout – is said to have been ‘packed’ at the time. 

The pub was busy with hundreds of patrons in the hours before the crash due to the unofficial long weekend before Tuesday's Melbourne Cup public holiday

The pub was busy with hundreds of patrons in the hours before the crash due to the unofficial long weekend before Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup public holiday 

A woman from a business next to the Royal Daylesford said she and her staff were all 'shaken up' after seeing some of the bodies on the pavement

A woman from a business next to the Royal Daylesford said she and her staff were all ‘shaken up’ after seeing some of the bodies on the pavement

The pub is understood to have been busy all weekend and the courtyard - overlooking the town's roundabout - is said to have been 'packed' at the time

The pub is understood to have been busy all weekend and the courtyard – overlooking the town’s roundabout – is said to have been ‘packed’ at the time 

Victoria Police confirmed five people were killed in the horror accident, which happened on Vincent Street, Daylesford, 100km north-west of Melbourne.

Four rescue helicopters were dispatched to collect the seriously injured victims. Dozens of police and multiple ambulances crews also rushed to the scene. 

A man from nearby Sailor’s Falls, just south of Daylesford, said ‘many sirens and emergency vehicles were screaming through’ town at before 7pm on a local community Facebook page.

The proprietor of a pizza restaurant near the hotel rushed outside when she heard a ‘loud bang’.

‘There was some kind of collision in the roundabout, I don’t know how many cars were involved,’ the restaurant owner, Kitty Martin told The Herald Sun.

‘The car looked pretty bad. It looks like it has hit something pretty hard. Apparently it went through a pole.’

One person said the pub was bustling on Sunday.

‘The Royal was packed with patrons outside all weekend,’ she wrote on social media.

Another said The Royal Hotel was one of the region’s most popular venues. A worker at a nearby restaurant said the car involved was ‘messed up’.

‘There are a lot of people outside,’ she said.

Four rescue helicopters were dispatched to collect the seriously injured victims. Dozens of police and multiple ambulances crews also rushed to the scene

Four rescue helicopters were dispatched to collect the seriously injured victims. Dozens of police and multiple ambulances crews also rushed to the scene 

An eye witness reported the driver of the vehicle remained seated inside his car for up to 10 minutes without moving after the crash at the Royal Hotel (pictured) at Daylesford

An eye witness reported the driver of the vehicle remained seated inside his car for up to 10 minutes without moving after the crash at the Royal Hotel (pictured) at Daylesford

Eye witnesses said the badly-damaged vehicle remained on the scene as emergency services arrived and frantically rushed to the aid of the injured patrons.

Paramedics flew four patients to Melbourne for treatment, including one child.

The child was flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Two adults were flown to Royal Melbourne Hospital and one adult was flown to the Alfred Hospital, all with serious injuries.

Paramedics have also taken two patients to Ballarat and one patient to Royal Melbourne, in serious but stable conditions.

Victoria Police confirmed the crash on social media on Sunday evening.

‘Emergency services are currently at the scene of a fatal crash in Daylesford,’ a police statement said.



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