POLICE are investigating the cause of a fatal crash at Tungamah on Thursday as a horror run on the roads continues.
Doreen McCarthy, 67, died when the four-wheel-drive she was a passenger in left the road and rolled several times on Devenish Road.
The male driver, 54, received minor injuries.
It was the 18th death on Victorian roads in the region this year, up from 11 fatalities last year.
It came after a motorbike crash on Whitehead Street, Corowa, that left a man fighting for life on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old rider was taken to hospital in Canberra in a critical condition.
A three-year-old girl on the bike escaped serious injury.
Leading Senior Constable Steve Williams said the Tungamah crash highlighted the need for people to take care on the roads, especially in the lead up to the busy Christmas period.
“There's now another family who will be without a loved one at Christmas time,” he said.
“It has an immeasurable impact.
“These accidents get harder and harder to go to the closer it gets to Christmas.
“Christmas will never be the same for that family.”
A toddler also died in a crash at Mulwala on Sunday in a smash that left his father and brother injured.
On the same day, two people were flung from a hot rod at Lavington, two motorbike riders were injured in crashes and an alleged drug driver smashed into an oncoming vehicle at Ebden.
Leading Senior Constable Williams said distraction and fatigue were often the key causes of incidents at this time of year.
“Everyone is trying to squeeze in a lot of things at Christmas,” he said.
“People have lots on their mind and need to take a step back while driving and just concentrate on driving the vehicle.”
Senior Sergeant Darren Wittingslow said more people had been seriously injured on roads in the Alpine, Moira, Wangaratta, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga shires this year – 162 people have been seriously injured, compared to 146 in 2015.
“We say that the 18 lives lost this year all could be avoided – all are unnecessary,” he said.
“We need drivers to take more care with what they're doing, pay attention and to drive to the conditions.”
Increased motorbike trauma is also concerning, he said.
Police will conduct an extensive traffic blitz over Christmas.