Two young friends are dead and another two are injured after their car crashed into a parked vehicle then slammed into a tree following a botched robbery.
Police say the four friends were involved in an attempted break-in at the Rising Sun Hotel bottle-shop shortly before the crash in Lucan Street, just after 1.30am.
Djaran Edwards, 19, of Eaglehawk, and 20-year-old Dylan Towers, of California Gully, were thrown from the car onto the road.
Local residents performed CPR but both died at the scene.
Their friends, an 18-year-old from Maiden Gully and a 19-year-old California Gully man, were injured.
Both were taken to Bendigo Hospital, one in a critical condition.
Police say the group had minutes before tried to rob a nearby bottle shop
when they were disturbed by a security guard.
They sped off in a Holden Commodore, travelling less than a kilometre before losing control of the car.
The group of friends had been at Tracey Saunders's house an hour earlier and her son, Josh, had almost joined them.
"I spoke to them last night," she told Seven News. "They were all happy and joking and then ten hours later I wake up to this - it's like a nightmare.
"These guys were respectable kids, lots of fun, they have never disrespected me or anyone else - it shouldn't have happened.
"They were happy-go-lucky kids...they didn't deserve this and neither did their families or friends."
Detective senior sergeant Grant Morris, from Bendigo, said police do not yet know if the driver was affected by drugs or alcohol.
He said at this stage it appears the crash was the result of a terrible combination of people not wearing seat belts in a car that was speeding and not roadworthy.
"It was a mess. It was a lot of wreckage, bits of the car that had disintegrated. One of the occupants had been ejected from the car on impact."
Police are investigating if the car was stolen.
The fatalities take Victoria's road toll to 122 for 2012, compared to 131 for the same time last year.
Police are calling for any witnesses to the collision or to the attempted robbery to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au