Woman dies following Springhurst crash | UPDATE

1.05PM UPDATE: AN 87-year-old Wangaratta woman has died in hospital following a crash on the Hume Freeway yesterday.

Police confirmed the woman passed away last night and said investigations were continuing.

The woman was a passenger in one of five cars that crashed in separate incidents due to ice on the road.

Officers also said an 82-year-old Queensland woman and the 90-year-old Wangaratta driver had both suffered serious injuries, and a 16-year-old boy from Queensland had received minor injuries. 

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FIVE cars have crashed almost simultaneously after hitting a patch of ice on the Hume Freeway, with three people taken to hospital.

A hail downpour led to a two-kilometre stretch of ice covering the freeway at Springhurst yesterday.

Sgt Mick Savage said the pea-sized hail, which was about 2.5 centimetres thick on the road, had created havoc among freeway motorists.

“The cars have hit the ice and slid off the road on both the southbound and northbound lanes,” he said.

“They were all separate incidents.

“They slid off into the median strip or onto the other side of the road.

“They didn’t have any time to react.”

A couple in their 80s and a 16-year-old boy required hospital treatment after their Ford sedan struck a tree.

A fourth person in the vehicle was assessed by paramedics at the scene, and the car was written off.

The incident occurred about 2.30pm and two of four lanes were closed to traffic.

“It was no one’s fault,” Sgt Savage said.

“It was a downpour ... it was like driving on polystyrene balls made of ice.”

Four ambulances, one fire truck and seven police units attended the scene.

Three people were also hospitalised after a crash at Numurkah, which occurred about the same time, and the State Emergency Service was called to a road rescue at Rutherglen.

About one kilometre of Federation Way between McPhersons Road and Wangaratta was also covered by ice.

Sgt Savage said while there were no collisions, about eight cars had left the road after hitting the ice.

The weather led to road closures, with the Great Alpine Road between Harrietville and Mt Hotham closed from 7pm to 7am this morning.

The Omeo Highway between Mitta and Glen Valley was closed yesterday afternoon because of snow.

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