Three men have suffered serious injuries after being crushed by a tree while camping on a buck’s party weekend in Victoria.
The group was camping at Big River northeast of Melbourne last Saturday when a gumtree smashed through their campsite in the middle of the night, leaving a trail of destruction.
Around midnight, the group heard a loud “crack” sound, but it was pitch black so none of them could see the 30-metre ghost gum crashing to the ground through their campsite, a GoFundMe page explained.
“Immediately panic set in, as they realised what had happened and they heard screams of their mates who had been injured,” the page read.
“A 30m ghost gum had uprooted and fallen across their camp. It left a path of destruction, seriously injuring three of our boys.”
The men desperately cut three of their mates, Clint Dent, Andrew Owen, and a third man who wishes to remain anonymous, free from under the tree’s limbs.
“The shock set in as they witnessed their mates in agony, bleeding and bones protruding, they had no idea what injuries they had sustained and had no reception to call for help,” the page read.
The men loaded the trio into a car and drove 45 minutes to a main road to get an ambulance before they were eventually flown to hospital in Melbourne.
Shocking pictures show the tree’s demolition of the campsite and a squashed 4WD.
Mr Owen “is lucky to be alive” after sleeping in a swag next to his 4WD that was flattened by the falling tree.
“That 4WD saved his life, it took the impact from the 1.5m wide gum that would have completely crushed his body,” the GoFundMe page read.
“He has sustained several injuries including nine broken ribs, broken scapula, fractures to his skull and swelling around the heart.”
Chris Weir, who was with the group, said the trio suffered 36 broken bones between them.
His mate Cliff Dent tried to flee from the falling tree but unfortunately, he “ran in the same direction” and “was crushed to the ground by the 30-metre ghost gum”.
He had to be cut free and suffered a broken spine in three places, a broken jaw, smashed teeth, a broken femur, a shattered tibia and fibula bone.
It’s also believed he suffered neck injuries and damaged nerves in his right arm.
All three are out of intensive care and recovering but there are concerns the injuries could leave Mr Dent and Mr Owen out of work for some time. Both also have young children.
Mates hailed as heroes
Barbara Hartland, the mother of Mr Owen, said if it wasn’t for her son’s mates he could have died.
Ms Hartland wrote on Facebook she wanted to thank them all for cutting her son free.
“You are a bunch of great people and your partners are bloody amazing too,” she wrote.
“Thank you to all of you for all your help, courage, bravery and comradeship.”
Mr Weir’s wife Dhani wrote the mates are an “amazing group of men”.
“The courage, strength and determination of you guys is unbelievable,” she wrote.
“You should be incredibly proud of yourselves.”
Mr Dent’s wife Leesa commented on a group photo of the men and wrote “every single person in this picture is an absolute hero”.
In another freak accident last week, a seven-year-old boy nearly lost his foot in a lawnmower accident while trying to help his father in Port Macquarie.
Margaret Reynolds, a 67-year-old woman from London, was visiting Seaside Heights in New Jersey when part of a beach umbrella skewered her leg.
Ricardo Zepeda witnessed the accident, while tanning at the beach less than three metres away from the incident.
“There’s this older woman reading a book to the left of me about 5-8 feet away,” he told Yahoo.
“[T]hen out of nowhere this gust of wind comes and multiple umbrellas get knocked over while one of them hits the woman,” Mr Zepeda said.