A FEW centimetres up and this could have been a different story.
An elderly husband and wife escaped with scratches after their car, which had over-corrected, crunched into a tree at high speed at Benalla yesterday.
Benalla police Sgt Brad McMennemin said the couple in their 80s, from the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh, were travelling to Yarrawonga to visit family when they passed through Benalla.
They were travelling east on Sydney Road in their Ford sedan when, about 1.30pm the car veered into the soft edges of the road.
Sgt McMennemin said the husband over-corrected and lost control on the 80km/h stretch of road, with the car spinning 360 degrees and smashing the back passenger side of the car into a tree.
The part of the car that took the force of the crash was only centimetres from where his wife was sitting.
“If it had’ve been a foot further up, the front passenger would’ve copped the full brunt of the crash,” he said.
“She’s pretty lucky.”
They were both taken to the Wangaratta hospital for observation.
Sgt McMennemin said the most important thing for drivers when they find themselves veering off the road and travelling along the dirt or gravelly side of the road was to not panic.
“Don’t brake, don’t accelerate, take your foot off the accelerator and slowly steer out,” he said.