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Booze probe after fatal crash

Mansfield crash x x Picture: Facebook
Loved ones have flooded social media with tributes to the four people killed when a car crashed into a tree in regional Victoria. Picture: Facebook

Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in a fatal crash after four seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands were killed in regional Victoria.

Emergency services were called after a rented Kia crashed into a tree at Mansfield-Woods Point Road in Piries.

The four occupants were trapped inside the vehicle as it burned, and were later confirmed dead by police.

Loved ones have flooded social media with devastated tributes to Aperaamo “Amo” Tapelu Filemu Aleka, Alesana Anetelea, David Gasologa and Darrick Amouta Peleti in the wake of the crash.

Mr Gasologa’s sister remembered him as the centre of his family’s world.

“He breaks a circle of nine siblings,” she said.

“He was quite humble and he was everyone’s favourite.

“He’s dearly missed.”

Alesana Anetelea is beleived to be the second victim in the Mansfield crash. Picture Facebook.jpg
Tributes are being posted for Alesana Anetelea. Picture: Facebook
Darrick Amouta Peleti
Darrick Amouta Peleti e Picture: Facebook

Mr Gasologa’s fiancée Vaelei A Von Dincklage shared a photo with the caption: “I love you always & forever...Why did you do me like this.”

Mr Aleka’s cousin Enna Mavaega Faimasasa remembered him as a “one of the kind heart person with a humble soul”.

Tributes to the men flooded in on social media.

In Samoan, another friend wrote: “Peace be upon you brother. Rest in peace brother Amo. Peace be upon you. You are gone. I will miss you. I will miss your humor. May your journey be blessed.”

David Gasologa was killed in the Piries crash. Picture Facebook 2.JPG
David Gasologa was one of four people killed in a fiery car crash in Piries, near Mansfield, Victoria. Picture: Facebook
Vaelei A Von Dincklage with fiance David Gasoloa. Picture Facebook.JPG
His fiance Vaelei A Von Dincklage shared a heartbroken tribute to her partner. Picture: Facebook

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said the men were believed to have consumed alcohol prior to the crash.

It is thought they were coming back from a social event at Macs Cove on Lake Eildon when the accident happened.

“We believe they consumed alcohol, jumped back in the car (going) towards the house where they live and the collision’s occurred coming around a slight bend … (where they) have lost control and ended up hitting a tree and bursting into flames,” he said.

He added that the road was in good condition and not heavily used.

x Amo Filemu Picture: Facebook
Aperaamo “Amo” Tapelu Filemu Aleka cousin remembered him as a ‘kind heart’. Picture: Facebook

The rental car company has been contacted as police race to confirm who was inside the vehicle.

Early investigations suggest the driver of the vehicle lost control, hit an embankment and spun off the road, with the car crashing into a paddock and bursting into flames.

Mr Weir said all causation factors, including speed and alcohol consumption, would form part of the investigation.

The burnt out wreckage a of a vehicle that crashed and burst into flames near Mansfield, killing four people. Picture: 7 New
The burnt out wreckage a of a vehicle that crashed and burst into flames near Mansfield, killing four people. Picture: 7 New
Multiple people have died in a horrific crash in Victoria's northeast. Picture: VicTraffic
Multiple people have died in a horrific crash in Victoria's northeast. Picture: VicTraffic

An aerial photograph from the scene shows the road to be narrow and surrounded by trees on one side, with a sharp drop on the other.

Piries is nearby the small town of Mansfield, about 214 km northeast from Melbourne.

Police believe the four victims were work colleagues. Picture: 7 News
Police believe the four victims were work colleagues. Picture: 7 News

Sunday’s quadruple fatality follows last Sunday’s tragedy in Daylesford, and brings the Victorian road toll to 256.

“This collision is the latest in a series of multi-death collisions we’ve had in Victoria this year,” Assistant Commissioner Weir said.

“There are 34 extra lives lost from multi-vehicle fatalities this year.

“The last time we saw a (road toll of 256) was in 2008.”

He said Victoria police would “continue our efforts to try and limit the carnage on Victoria’s roads”.