Cliff crash possibly deliberate

Investigators believe a man might have deliberately driven off a cliff on the Great Ocean Road.

INVESTIGATORS say a fatal crash where a car plunged almost 100 metres off a Great Ocean Road cliff could have been suicide.

Colac Criminal Investigation Unit Detective Chris Potter is investigating the crash which killed the 31-year-old man and left a woman, 48, critically injured.

Det Potter said the investigation was still in its early stages but police had evidence suggesting that the crash wasn’t an accident.

“We’re looking at a theory that it’s a suicide situation,” he said.

“There were no other vehicles involved, there were no marks on the roadway indicating any attempt to brake or avoid a collision,” he said.

Victoria Police removed the man’s death from Victoria’s road toll on Tuesday indicating a medical condition or suicide could have caused the crash.

The male driver died instantly when the Volkswagen he was driving crashed through guard rails and plummeted 92 metres off a cliff at Cape Patton, between Apollo Bay and Kennett River.

The impact of the crash threw the man’s body from the vehicle and it was on rocks near the car when rescuers arrived.

The woman survived Saturday afternoon’s crash but was trapped in the vehicle for almost two hours before rescuers could reach her.

Paramedics airlifted her to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital with serious leg, pelvis and stomach injuries.

Det Potter said the woman remained in hospital and had been unable to speak to investigators.

“We spoke to two German tourists who provided statements – they saw the car leave the top of the cliff but not the impact,” he said.

“We’re appealing for anyone who was at the Great Ocean Road on that time or knows the vehicle to give us a ring.”

Investigators closed the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Skenes Creek for four hours yesterday while a crane recovered the vehicle from the base of the cliff.

Det Potter said the vehicle would remain in Colac and a Melbourne-based forensics team would examine it next week.

He said a Colac district crane company retrieved the vehicle in a “difficult” operation.

“The conditions were at times treacherous with howling wind and rain,” Det Potter said.

“We used a local crane company who did an excellent job and it took about four hours to complete the operation,” he said.

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