Stolen car drives on wrong side of freeway

Two men have been arrested as part of Operation United after a number of motorists had to take evasive action when a car travelling on the wrong side of the road speed toward them in Bacchus Marsh overnight.

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The blue Ford sedan was initially spotted by the police airwing travelling at speed on the Western Freeway towards Bacchus Marsh about 10:15pm.

The allegedly stolen vehicle’s speed was checked and was found to be in excess of 160km/h.

Police observed the car drive onto the wrong side of the Western Freeway; at times it is believed the car was travelling 170km/h into oncoming traffic.

Due to the manner of driving and the extreme risk to the public officers on the ground initiated a pursuit.

The car exited the freeway before police successfully deployed stop sticks on Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road near the intersection of Coburns Road.

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A short time later the car came to a stop and the two men who were in the car at the time, a 28-year-old from Darley and a 35-year-old man from Melton, were arrested.

The 35-year-old Melton man has been charged with reckless conduct endangering serious injury, conduct endangering life, commit an indictable offence while on bail, manner dangerous, speed dangerous, recklessly drive while being pursued by police and other traffic offences.

The 28-year-old man who was a passenger in the vehicle has been charged with theft of a motor car and commit an indictable offence while on bail.

The pair have been held over to appear at Sunshine Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam to come forward after a number of vehicles were extremely lucky to escape being hit by the oncoming car.

Whilst committing the offences, the men were was also found to be in breach of the directions issued by the Chief Health Officer and were each issued a $1652 penalty notice.

The directions by the Chief Health Officer, under the State of Disaster, declared in Victoria, have been enacted to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

The arrests form part of Operation United, an operation targeting a range of high harm offences including robberies, aggravated burglaries, armed robberies, carjackings and assaults.

The operation kicks off in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs this week and brings tougher police from a range of units across the North West Metro Region (Division 3) and Crime Command as part of a joint effort to deter and disrupt an anticipated increase in a number of criminal offences as COVID-19 restrictions ease

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