A TOW truck driver escaped with his life after his vehicle veered off the Princes Highway and down a steep embankment.
Police said the 26-year-old was driving at 95km/h on the Geelong-bound lanes when his brakes failed about 1.30pm, near Lara.
The truck was towing two 4WDs, one of which rolled off the back off the truck and landed on its side.
The driver, who did not want to be named, said a passerby helped him out of the truck.
The Clayton man said he was in shock after the accident but did not sustain any serious injuries.
"I was driving in the middle lane and then when I put the brakes on to slow down a little bit it's got out of control and crashed down," he said.
"It was scary because I couldn't do anything. The brakes just locked."
Skid marks could be seen on the Geelong-bound lanes with debris scattered across the median strip after the truck crashed through a barrier and came to rest between thick bushes.
A brand new Land Rover Discovery rolled off the truck with its tyre coming loose while the impact flipped the other 4WD, a Mitsubishi Pajero, on to its side.
Lara police Sergeant Steve Burgess said speed was not considered a factor in the accident and it was believed there was a mechanical failure with the brakes. He said a serious multi-vehicle smash was narrowly avoided with heavy traffic on both sides of the highway
"He is very lucky he didn't end up on the other side of the road," Sgt Burgess said.
Traffic slowed in Geelong an Melbourne-bound lanes as people took a closer look, some pulling their cars over to take a photo of the crash site.
Anyone who saw the crash is urged to phone Lara police on 5282 1241.