Police have asked motorists to be cautious when driving after there were three car crashes in the Shepparton CBD yesterday.By Kaitlin Thals
Chaos and congestion filled Shepparton’s central business district yesterday when three separate car crashes occurred within five hours.
Emergency services rushed from the second incident to the third to free people from cars and clear debris and vehicles from intersections.
Although no serious injuries were sustained, the crashes had police urging drivers to take extra care.
‘‘If we can pay care and attention to any intersection we’re coming to, and make sure to check both ways and use the (traffic) lights properly — let’s go home without damaging our cars,’’ Shepparton police Acting Sergeant Dean Lloyd said.
Police issued two notices for failing to give way to drivers at the first and second crash.
The third collision was being investigated by police.
The first crash brought peak-hour traffic to a halt about 8.30
Act Sgt Lloyd said a man with an international licence was driving a white van east on Sobraon St and attempting to turn right on to Wyndham St when the car and a red sedan being driven west on Sobraon St collided.
The Wyndham St south-bound lanes were closed for about 15 minutes while debris and the vehicles were cleared from the scene.
Next, Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad was called to a three-car collision about 150
Act Sgt Lloyd said members worked to retrieve a Shepparton man trapped in a white Holden Astra sedan for about nine minutes, after a door handle jammed.
He said the Astra was being driven south on Dudley St and a black Honda coupe driven by a Shepparton man was travelling east on Vaughan St when the crash occurred.
He said the Astra continued travelling south and collided with a third vehicle — a Holden Commodore — legally parked on the south side of Vaughan St, facing west.
All three cars were towed from the scene.
About 40 minutes later, emergency services were alerted to a third collision at the city’s major intersection.
Shepparton Highway Patrol Leading Senior Constable Mick Jarrett said a Geelong man, 44, was driving a silver Holden Commodore north on Wyndham St. He was attempting to turn right into High St while a 54-year-old Narrabri woman was travelling south on Wyndham St in a silver Kia Carnivale.
The two vehicles collided.
Ldg Sen Const Jarrett said Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad arrived to free a 25-year-old passenger of the Kia after the door became stuck after impact.
Traffic was diverted at Wyndham and High Sts when one of the vehicles was immobilised for about 30 minutes and both cars were then towed away.
‘‘There shouldn’t be collisions at traffic lights, people need to take a bit more care,’’ Ldg Sen Const Jarrett said.
‘‘Amber means stop if safe to do so — whether it’s safe to stop or not is an instant decision to be made — where red is pretty clear cut.’’
Shepparton Country Fire Authority senior station officer Pete Dedman said crews were called to all three incidents yesterday to ensure the crash scenes were safe.
Four separate units worked throughout the day, mopping up vehicle fluids and to provide fire protection.
Mr Dedman said a spate of crashes within Shepparton’s central business district was rare.
‘‘Occasionally you’ll get a run of them. All we can do it urge people to be observant when they’re driving,’’ Mr Dedman said.
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