Five dead after car crashes into Victorian beer garden

A white BMW SUV ploughed into the beer garden of the Royal Daylesford Hotel in regional Victoria.

A white BMW SUV ploughed into the beer garden of the Royal Daylesford Hotel in regional Victoria. Photo: 9NEWS screenshot

Police have told of “absolutely horrible” scenes at a Victorian pub where five people were killed — including two children — when a BMW crashed into a popular beer garden.

The white SUV slammed into the Royal Daylesford Hotel’s street-facing outdoor area on what was a beautiful Sunday evening in the country town about 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne.

Police said four people died at the scene and a teenage girl died later in hospital, while several others were injured and taken to hospitals in Melbourne and Ballarat.

Those killed were two men, one woman, a boy thought to be six years old and a teenage girl.

People were enjoying the evening, drinking and eating on Victoria’s Melbourne Cup long weekend, when the unimaginable unfolded.

Witnesses described chaos and bodies strewn across the accident site when the vehicle driven by a 66-year-old man veered off the road and mounted the kerb on the tourist town’s main street.

Patrons and bystanders on the street rushed to do what they could to help the injured while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

The ABC reports police do not believe speed was a factor and will be interviewing the driver from Mount Macedon who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Describing the trauma, Road Policing Command Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said people may have watched their loved ones die.

“I haven’t seen something this drastic for a long time. Any time you have five people die at the one scene – it’s horrible,” he said.

“We don’t like to see anyone lose their life but to see a child – you never want to see anything like that.

“Any time you have five people die at a particular scene, it’s absolutely horrible.

“There are families that have got loved ones that are no longer going to be around.”

Emergency crews rushed to Vincent Street at about 6pm on Sunday following reports a car had crashed into a beer garden.

A boy was flown to hospital with critical injuries while a man, a woman and a boy had non-life-threatening injuries.

The badly crumpled BMW could be seen at the crash scene.

Daylesford resident Rhonda White was having a drink at the nearby RSL when she witnessed “something I wouldn’t even see in a movie”.

“The car going up, flicking lights and I only realised later, they were all bodies around us – they were bodies I was watching,” she told the Herald Sun.

“I can’t believe I saw what I saw. I don’t know where the people came from. Normally at that time the place is quiet on a Sunday evening but there were around 100 people who were helping out.

“There were nurses off duty and others doing CPR.

“There were people screaming and shouting. It was chaos,” she said.

Police fence off the scene on Daylesford’s main street on Sunday night. Photo: 9NEWS

Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, whose federal Ballarat electorate includes Daylesford, asked the community to follow advice from emergency services as crews carry out their work.

“My thoughts are with all those at the scene, their friends and families and the broader Daylesford community,” she said in a statement on X.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam or CCTV footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

-with AAP

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