Five people died as a result of an SUV crashing through the Wills Square outdoor recreation area in front of the Royal Hotel facing the Albert, Howe and Vincent Street intersection last night at around 6 pm.

It is reported that four people were killed at the scene and one later in hospital. Those who died were two men and a woman, a young boy and a teen age girl. A number of injured people were taken to hospital in Ballarat and Melbourne.

Witnesses said the SUV veered off the road and mounted the curb and drove through the people on the lawned area in front of the Royal. Police intend to interview the driver of the white BMW, reported to be a 66 year old Macedon man, who is in hospital with non life threatening injuries.

A number of patrons and bystanders provided assistance in what was described as a highly distressing and chaotic scene. Emergency crews, including local ambulance and SES services and a number of air ambulances rushed to scene.

Police have cordoned off the area around the intersection while forensic and accident investigation teams examine the scene. Anyone who witnessed the incident or has video footage of the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

The Mayor, Councillor Brian Hood, expressed his shock and support for the victims and their families, the first responders and all those who have been affected by the tragedy. He indicated that Council will make information on counselling and support services available on the Council website.

Police have asked the community to follow the directions of the emergency services crews to allow them to do their work.