Horror bus and truck collision in Victoria’s west sparks major investigation

A major investigation is underway after a horror bus and truck crash north-west of Melbourne that led to 33 people, including 27 schoolgirls, being hospitalized.

The bus was taking 27 Loreto College Ballarat students and four staff members to Melbourne Airport for an overseas trip when the crash occurred on the Western Highway at Bacchus Marsh at about 3.15am.

The bus smashed through a roadside barrier and rolled down an embankment after it collided with a B-double truck.

A school bus carrying 27 girls rolled down an embankment at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, after colliding with a truck. (9News)

Two teenage girls and the truck driver suffered serious injuries.

Both girls were flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in serious but stable conditions, according to Ambulance Victoria.

One witness, tow truck driver Trevor Oliver, said one of the girls was so badly injured, it appeared her leg had been partially amputated.

“Three of us got hold of her and once we got her free and carried her out,” he told 9News.

The male truck driver, aged in his 50s, was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The bus driver, a man in his 50s, was taken to the Alfred Hospital with minor injuries.

Five others involved in the crash were taken to Melbourne hospitals in stable conditions, while 16 others were taken to Ballarat Base Hospital.

Ballarat Health Services CEO Dale Fraser said a Code Brown had to be enacted at the hospital due to the number patients arriving from the crash.

He said the Code Brown was stood down by 2pm, when only five patients from the crash were still at the hospital.

“They are all in a stable condition, we do expect further discharges today,” he said.

Fraser said the outcome of the crash had been helped by safety precautions.

“We were very lucky here with seatbelts.”

Acting Superintendent Jason Templar said the students all wearing seatbelts had likely saved there being any fatalities from the crash.

“A number of the injuries actually occurred from their release from the seats, because the bus was upside down,” he said.

“We’re incredibly grateful that no one was killed.

“Looking at the scene, how anyone wasn’t more injured is incredible.”

Ballarat Health Service CEO Dale Fraser said it was lucky the bus passengers had been wearing seatbelts. (Nine)

In a statement released around lunchtime on Wednesday, Loreto College Ballarat said he was grateful for the work of emergency crews who responded to the crash.

“The College is very appreciative of the quick and professional response of the emergency services personnel at the scene, and very grateful to Grampians Health for their ongoing support,” the statement said.

“Our caring Loreto community has deep concern for the injured and their families and we ask for their privacy to be respected.”

The students, in years 9 to 11, were on their way to Melbourne Airport where they were set to travel to a space camp in the US.

Kangaroo Transport Industries, who the truck driver involved was working for, had also issued a statement about the crash.

Two people have been taken to hospital. (9News)

“Our thoughts are with everyone involved including the passengers and driver on the bus, our driver and all of their families and school community,” KTI CEO Steve Buck said in the statement.

The 60-year-old is a sub-or has been safely driving road trains for more than 30 years. “.

Police are investigating the cause of the collision.

Acting Superintendent Templar said initial investigations “suggest that it was a rear-end collision”.

The speed limit on the road had been lowered to 40km/h at the time of the crash due to another crash that occurred on the road about 7pm yesterday, with debris still being cleared.

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