'Act of a coward': Road worker crushed between cars in 'horrific' hit-and-run

·3-min read

A man is on the run in Melbourne after a horrific crash which left one road worker dead and another person in a critical condition. 

The driver fled the scene after ploughing into several workers in the city's southeast this morning. 

A red Holden was driving along Hall Road in Carrum Downs about 7.15am on Tuesday when it struck a number of people near the intersection of Lats Avenue, police said in a statement.

The car reportedly struck one worker before hitting the back of a work ute, pinning the victim between the vehicles in an impact that launched the ute into a tree. 

A manhunt is underway after a driver who caused the 'horrific' crash fled the scene. Source: ABC
A manhunt is underway after a driver who caused the 'horrific' crash fled the scene. Source: ABC

One person, identified as a worker from Altus Traffic Pty Ltd, died from their injuries at the scene. Another person has been flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Driver looked at victims and ran off

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Jarrod Dwyer said the actions from the Holden driver were "cold" and "callous" and described it as "the act of a coward".

"The driver has just got out, looked directly at the two victims and then run off," Det Act Sen Sgt Dwyer told reporters.

Sgt Dwyer said witnesses observed the red car travelling at high speed and tried to avoid the workers at the last minute but it was too late.

The first victim was hit "head on". 

"They were wedged between a ute that the workers were setting up from and the red commodore," Sgt Dwyer said.

The second worker was thrown to the side of the road, where a bystander dragged him to safety.

crash
Images of two men, one which investigators believe to be the driver of the red Holden, along with a second man who was driving the black Hyundai have been released as part of the ongoing investigation. Source: Vic Police

A Good Samaritan who witnessed the crash saw the driver exit the vehicle and chased after him, urging him to stop. Sgt Dwyer said the witness managed to get a photo of the fleeing driver.

The driver was last seen getting into a black Hyundai SUV, which was spotted driving east on Ballarto Road about 7.45am.

Police had attempted to intercept the SUV but the car drove at the police officers. "They were unable to engage further in a pursuit at that point," Sgt Dwyer said. 

Witnesses at the scene said the Holden driver had minor facial injuries following the crash.

Victim a 'hardworking family man'

Speaking to 3AW, Altus Traffic CEO Ben Marsonet described the 44-year-old worker who was killed as "a role model" and "a hardworking family man".

His 38-year-old colleague, meanwhile, will reportedly require surgery.  

A police search remains underway, Victoria Police confirmed in the press conference.

Images of the man believed to be the driver of the Commodore, as well as a man who was driving the black SUV have been released to the public.

Anyone who sees the men or the SUV is urged to contact triple-0.

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