Three kids die in car lake plunge

Written By komlim puldel on Rabu, 08 April 2015 | 20.01

The car was up to 30m from the lake's shore. Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: News Corp Australia

  • Three children have died and one seriously hurt
  • A woman was also in the car and is in under police guard in hospital
  • The crash happened at a lake off Manor Lakes Boulevard, Wyndham Vale at 3.40pm
  • All four children are believed to be aged under six
  • Homicide Squad at the scene

POLICE have confirmed a third child has died after their car plunged into a lake at Wyndham Vale this afternoon.

The car was found in the lake off Manor Lakes Boulevard, near Pedder Street, at 3.40pm.

The female driver is under police guard in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

It is believed one of the children was aged between 6-7 and another between 1-2. The injured child was believed to be aged 5.

The car is about 20 to 30 metres from the shore.

An emotional Superintendent Stuart Bateson said "we don't know why, we don't know how" the car entered lake, about 38km west of Melbourne's CBD.

He said it was "too early" to tell whether the female driver was the mother of all four children.

"All we know at this stage is a female driver has been taken to hospital and we have (three) deceased children," he said.

ANYONE WHO WITNESSED THE CRASH IS URGED TO CONTACT CRIME STOPPERS ON 1800 333 000

"What we do know is that when the car left (the road) passers by and police members got some of the children out and did CPR.

"Unfortunately (three children) passed away."

The Homicide Squad is now at the scene.

Danielle Barthelson, who lives nearby and has a five-year-old daughter, fought back tears as she watched police work on the banks of the lake.

"I just don't know how this has happened," she said.

"How could a car possibly get there?

"I feel sick. I just want to cry.

"You just don't know what is going to happen. You are having a normal day and then, boom, this happens.

"It affects everybody."

Ms Barthelson said Manor Lakes Blvd, where it appeared the car left the road and entered the lake, was a "safe" street.

"We drive here all the time. It's not a fast area - it's 50km/h.

"I run along here everyday and I let my daughter ride her scooter - it's safe as.

"People never speed and there's often roadworks along here anyway so it's usually pretty slow."

Two children have died and two others are seriously injured after their car plunged into a lake in Melbournes west, while the female driver is under police guard in hospital. Courtesy: Seven News

Detectives from the Major Collision Investigation Unit are at the scene.

They will try to piece together the exact cause of the crash, determining how fast the car was travelling, whether the car braked or swerved and other factors like road conditions.

The Search and Rescue squad is also attending the scene and will retrieve the vehicle from the water.

Tests can then be conducted on the car to make sure there are no mechanical faults or defects.

Superintendent Bateson said police were unsure whether the car was driving erratically before entering the lake.

A police diver at the scene. Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: News Corp Australia

Authorities at the scene. Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: News Corp Australia

"It is pretty early in our investigation," he said.

"What we do know is that we have a very tragic set of circumstances here and it is going to be a very harrowing investigation."

He said "everyone", including police, had been affected by the tragic scene.

"When you come to a scene like this and my members in particular, who have been performing CPR for an extended period of time, are really feeling it," he said.

"It is tough for everyone involved."

The location of this afternoon's tragic incident. Image: Google Maps Source: Supplied

The Superintendent said nearby SES and CFA members helped at the scene, as community members jumped into the lake in an attempt to rescue the children.

Resident Michelle told 3AW her neighbour Travis had to smash the car's back windscreen to rescue the children.

"It's just a horrible scene." she said.

"Travis jumped into the water, smashed the back screen of the car and got one little boy out," she said.

"Then they started working on him."

Crying, she added: "It's so very hard to talk about when there are children involved."

Michelle said the car was travelling along Manor Lakes Boulevard and "but just went straight over into the lake."

She said: "I'm not sure if it was speeding or what happened."

Resident Kate Slee, who lives opposite where the crash occurred, said the park was normally a "pretty place" popular among families.

"I am devastated because I've got two kids of my own,'' she said.

Stacie Buckley, also nearby, said: "It's terrible. It's a complete shock knowing it's so close to home. I've got kids myself so anything involving kids is just awful."

"You would never think something like this would happen in that particular spot. The ponds are retty far back from the road. It's just completely shocking."

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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