A driver has made a lucky escape after his car burst into flames as it crashed into a World War I memorial at Footscray Park.
Emergency services were called to the crash site on the corner of Geelong and Ballarat roads about 8am Friday morning.
Police spokesman Chris Metevelis said the car left the road and hit the statue before catching fire.
The fire was extinguished shortly after and the driver escaped.
Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman Rebecca Brewin said a man in his 50s suffered chest injuries in the crash and was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.
The six metre high memorial, formed by a granite pillar with columns and a marble statue of Victory, was erected in memory of the men and women of Footscray who served in World War I.
It was paid for by public subscription and unveiled in 1922 by then Governor General, Lord Forster.
The remains of the badly damaged statue have been taken to Maribyrnong Council depot.
A spokeswoman said council’s immediate priority is safety, which involves clearing the site.
“Following that an assessment will be undertaken to decide what future actions should take place.”
Steven Wilson from the Footscray Historical Society said the society will push for restoration of the memorial.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au