Kids injured in mud race horror

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 13 Januari 2013 | 23.08

The crowd scatters as the 4WD careers off the track, hitting several bystanders. Picture: Chris Nicholls

BRAVE bystanders lifted a four-wheel-drive off injured children after the airborne mud racing ute ploughed into spectators in Gippsland.

The terrifying incident left a nine-year-old girl with leg injuries and a 15-year-old girl with pelvic and leg injuries following the spill during the Mud Run at Dalyston, near Wonthaggi.

The pair were flown to the Royal Children's Hospital.

Witnesses said the car lost control on a corner and flew through the air about 4pm.

An eight-year-old boy, who suffered arm and knee injuries, was also taken to Wonthaggi Hospital, and a 15-year-old girl with leg injuries was taken to Dandenong Hospital.

The racing car ploughs off the track and into the horrified crowd. Picture: Chris Nicholls

A 40-year-old man was taken by road ambulance to The Alfred hospital with multiple injuries.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said a 13-year-old boy was treated at the scene for shock and was taken to The Alfred in a private car to be with the 40-year-old.

The event was a fundraiser for the Dalyston Football and Netball Club.

Quickly on the scene, football club first aider Stacy said one of the 15-year-old girls had moved to the small town last year.

The crowd rallies to push the car off the victims. Picture: Chris Nicholls

"I'd be trying to help one person and then another person would be crying for help," Stacy said.
Witness Amanda Evans said the smash was "absolutely terrifying".

"I had friends that were actually in that area at that time, so I automatically ran around, concerned about them and their families."

Photographer Chris Nicholls said he turned around after hearing screams and saw a car mounting the embankment.

He said it looked like there was at least one person underneath the vehicle, as spectators banded together to push the race car off.

After the shock, racegoers band together to help the injured. Picture: Chris Nicholls

"They were pushing the car off and it looked like there were people underneath. Not just one person, maybe two or three," Mr Nicholls said.

"The driver obviously was extremely distraught as well. Afterwards he just got out and knelt with his head on his hands. It was a fraught situation."

SES incident controller Joe Borg said the car "flew" into the group of spectators after the driver lost control.

"The car landed on the crowd," Mr Borg said.

An injured child is taken to hospital by helicopter. Picture: Channel 7 News

"It cleared the bank and flew into the crowd. The spectators pushed the car back on to the track."

Dalyston vice-president Peter Hill said the club provided the venue and spent two weeks making it as safe as it could be. He said most members spent the day behind the scenes, organising food and drink.

"We're just really devastated as a football club to have done the best we can do to try and put on the safest event and for something like that to happen," Mr Hill said.

"It was a fantastic day except for five minutes of the day."

An injured child is taken to hospital by ambulance. Picture: Channel 7 News

The Australian 4WD Mud Racing Association, which ran the event, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald Sun.

Police spokesman Melissa Seach said officers were not investigating the smash.

Paramedic Eddie Wright said the first crew arrived to find shocked spectators still hanging around the scene.

''The first crew were met with a bit of confusion and a lot of anxiety about what had happened,'' Mr Wright told radio 3AW.

''With the assistance of Victoria Police and the organisers they were actually able to quickly bring that into control, sort out what needed to be done and actually move some people out of the area and that actually helped them manage.''

Mud racing involves modified 4WDs competing on specially built tracks with jumps, mudholes, waterholes and corners.

Vehicles are separated into six classes, based on engine capacity, before competing for points.

The association's next event is scheduled for Edenhope, near the South Australian border, on February 10.

- with Amelia Harris

angus.thompson@news.com.au


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