Four-year-old boy among three killed in horror night of falling trees

Three people, including a four-year-old boy, have been killed by fallen trees after a cold front brought damaging gusts across Victoria on Thursday night.

The boy was hit in Blackburn South about 6pm and was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital in a critical condition. He died later in the evening.

Emergency crews work to free a person from a car hit by a tree in Belgrave.Credit:Nine News

A Parkdale woman, 36, was in the passenger seat of a ute along the Maroondah Highway in Fernshaw when it was struck by a falling tree about 6.50pm.

She died at the scene. The driver, a 24-year-old Flinders man, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

A 59-year-old Tecoma man was driving his car out of a Belgrave shopping centre carpark in Melbourne's east when a tree fell and crushed the vehicle at the intersection of Terrys Avenue and Ena Road just after 6pm, Victoria Police said.

The man suffered life-threatening injuries and died later.

Police will prepare a report for the Coroner over the deaths.

Tens of thousands of people were without power overnight as the damaging gusts came through.

The wild weather brought a tree down on the corner of Spencer and Hawke streets in Melbourne’s north.

Power company AusNet, which services the east of the state, recorded more than 83,000 outages at 6.30pm.

Meanwhile, United Energy, which provides electricity to Melbourne's inner south-east and the Mornington Peninsula had more than 40,000 properties without power.

West of Melbourne, Powercor and CitiPower had more than 14,000 customers affected on Thursday night.

The strongest wind gust was 158km/h at Wilsons Promontory just after 7.30pm, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

What Melbourne’s east looked like on the VicEmergency app just before 10pm on Thursday night.Credit:VicEmergency

Mount Gellibrand was also smacked by a 124km/h gust about 4.30pm, with a 122km/h gust at Yanakie at 5.30pm and 120km/h at Gabo Island just after 9pm.

The State Emergency Service responded to 403 calls for assistance between 7.30pm and 8.30pm alone – with 338 of those calls relating to trees down, a spokesman said on Thursday night.

Some of the worst-affected areas were Lilydale, Maroondah, Hastings, Bellarine and Torquay.

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