Apsley residents stunned when historic Border Inn Hotel pub was damaged in car crash

A pub in Victoria’s far west is set to receive a huge damage bill after being hit by a car this morning.

Police said the vehicle pulled into the Border Inn Hotel in Apsley, on the Wimmera Highway, 15 kilometers from the South Australian border, just before 6am.

There was no one in the hotel at the time.

Two people fled on foot and have not yet been found.

Big impact

Resident Shannon Beveridge said the blast woke him up.

He said he saw another resident nearby who told him a car had driven into the pub.

A car with its brake lights still on is visible through a hole in the wall of a pub
The Melbourne pub’s new owners had reopened it just four months ago.(Supplied: Shannon Beveridge)

“Then we both ran over and called Triple 0,” he said.

“There is very great damage.”

Mr Beveridge said while the pub was insured it was a bitter pill to swallow for Apsley and the owners.

“The pub is closed due to COVID and was sold earlier this year,” he said.

“Shane and Catherine (the owners) moved here from Melbourne and fit in so well with this community.

“This news that it will be closed for the foreseeable future is heartbreaking.

The same Border Inn pub pictured undamaged on a sunny day in July 2021.
The pub has been closed for much of the time in recent years due to COVID.(Supplied: Chris O’Connell)

He said the owners had started setting up meals in the past two months.

“People came from Victoria and South Australia,” he said.

“The city was buzzing.

“It’s just heartbreaking.”

Police, firefighters, SES personnel and part of Apsley’s population of 300 people inspected the scene of the accident on Monday morning.

It is clear that efforts to make the building structurally safe continue, and no one has yet been inside to determine how much damage has been done to the building, parts of which are 170 years old.

Mr Beveridge said the car had also damaged a fence in the park opposite the pub before the collision.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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