Double fatality

TWO Sale men were killed in a horror smash at Glengarry early Saturday morning when the car they were travelling in struck a drain and flipped into a paddock.

The men, 18-year-old Peter Clarke and 22-year-old Daniel Marinovich, who were travelling unrestrained in the back of the single-cab utility, died at the scene as a result of massive trauma sustained when they were flung from the vehicle.

The 19-year-old driver was taken to Latrobe Regional Hospital after slipping in and out of consciousness as emergency crews arrived.

The car’s three other passengers, crammed into the cab with the driver, received no injuries.

Police say preliminary reports made by the Major Collision Investigation Unit indicate the car, travelling from Sale to Traralgon, was speeding at 164kmh at the time of the crash.

A passerby rendered assistance, performing CPR on one of the men until police and ambulance crews arrived five to 10 minutes later.

Police are investigating the effect alcohol might have played in the incident.

The driver, Robert Saunders of Traralgon, was arrested 3pm Saturday after his discharge from hospital.

He was taken to Traralgon police station for questioning.

At an out of session hearing at the station he was charged with two counts of culpable driving causing death, and appeared in Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court Monday. Saunders was granted bail and will reappear in court in July.

Traralgon police’s sergeant Paul Stow, who attended the accident scene, has warned of the dangers of travelling unrestrained in the back of utilities.

“All it takes is a minor mechanical fault and you could be facing life threatening injuries or as was the case on Saturday things could result in death.”

He said there was a culture out there where young drivers, typically men, thought they were bulletproof, adding that unfortunately it took incidents like this to show them that they were not.

A Facebook page established in memory of Peter Clarke documents an outpouring of grief:

“Not coping at all. When I think I’ve gotten to a strong point and able to hold back my tears … it all just pours out again. I don’t understand why this happened to you. I’m really going to miss how you always made a point of making me feel like at least one person cared about me, which was you. I love you Peter.”

“I keep calling your phone hoping you will answer and tell me that you’re great and you will see me soon, but it goes to voice mail to hear your voice hurts but makes me smile.”

“I have sat with Daniel’s family on and off today. Daniel, like Peter, was a beautiful, polite, respectful kid. I saw his mother brokenhearted, his only sister devastated, his brother-in-law in tears and his five-year-old niece and six-year-old nephew don’t understand, and it breaks my heart. So many people affected. Love and sympathy to both families and friends. xxxxx.”