Wheelchair trapped under taxi after collision

Colac SES crews freed a Colac woman after her wheelchair became stuck when it and a taxi collided. The woman was uninjured.

A COLAC woman was lucky to escape unharmed when her electric wheelchair and a taxi collided.

Colac police, State Emergency Services and Country Fire Authority crews attended the scene after the Ford wagon turned left out of Hamilton Street and clipped the woman who had approached from behind the vehicle in a blind spot.

Police said the woman was travelling along the grass on Hamilton Street, where there was no footpath, and cut across onto Moore Street at the same time the taxi performed a legal left turn.

The taxi mounted the front-right wheel of the electric wheelchair, wedging the wheel under the vehicle and trapping the woman about 9.30am Monday.

Police diverted traffic on Moore Street for about 30 minutes while SES and CFA crews used air compression equipment and blocks of wood to lift the taxi and free the woman.

Senior Constable Ray Doensen of Colac said the driver didn’t have a chance to see the woman because she approached from the back left of his car.

He said the taxi driver was lucky to stop within “a few feet” of a heavy collision with the woman.

“The only thing that has come out of this is that people on those scooters have to realise that they are the same as pedestrians and must take the same precautions,” Sen Const Doensen said.

The woman’s husband retrieved her and the damaged wheelchair from the scene.

Meanwhile, three CFA crews attended a gas leak in the cellar at Colac’s Union Club Hotel.

Lieutenant Lindsay Hester of Colac CFA said about 15 personnel responded to the incident after a faulty component in a post-mix soft drink machine caused carbon dioxide to leak in the cellar about 8pm Sunday.

Lt Hester said crews took about 40 minutes to clear the incident.

“We put four people in breathing apparatuses that went down into the cellar and turned the cylinder off and switched the machine off then ventilated

the area using positive pressure ventilation fans,” he said.

Lt Hester said about six hotel staff members evacuated the building as a precaution and were unharmed.

“I believe at the time the bar was closing anyway so there were only staff members on scene at the time,” he said.

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