Truckies’ families support each other through tragedy

The widow and stepson of the two truckies killed on the Bruce Highway near Maryborough last week have met for the first time at the crash site, vowing to support each other as best they can through the tragedy.

Betty Stuart, widow of Daniel Stuart, and Jakkaphong Mullar, stepson of Tim Hickey, who has now been identified as the second truckie killed, embraced each other and spoke briefly to ABC News.

Daniel Stuart was driving a truck carrying lithium batteries, while Hickey was driving a truck loaded with watermelons, when they were involved in a collision with another car at Maryborough on Friday night.

The two men and the driver of the car, Sidney Marstella, died at the scene.

“For me it’s peace of mind,” said Betty Stuart of her decision to visit the site. “I can talk to him, I know this is where he is. I know he is still here.

“We’ve just me him [Mullar], but we feel we know each other. His dad and my husband died together and that’s putting us together. We will be together forever. We will be here to support him.”

Mullar said that he was sure that if his dad had met Daniel they would be great friends and have a beer together.

Mullar also joined the Stuart family in calling for more safety measures to be installed at the notorious intersection.

“A red light stop would be good here. We don’t want another family to go through what that family have gone through right now.”

Added Betty Stuart: “If you can beep your horn as a mark of respect for Jak’s dad and my husband I would so much appreciate it because then I know they’re not forgotten.”

Daniel Stuart was a devoted family man. Image: GoFundMe

Both families have started GoFundMe pages to help with costs. At the time of writing, the fund for Daniel Stuart had raised more than $63,000, while Tim Hickey’s had $9440, which included a $1000 contribution from the Stuart family.

“Jak, your Mum and family are all in our hearts. Together we will get through this tragedy and there won’t be a moment that our loss won’t be felt, your Dad Tim and my Step-Dad Daniel. Sending so much love, strength and prayers. Kia kaha,” posted Aroha Keen.

Tim Hickey, right, had just moved his family to Bundaberg from Victoria. Image: GoFundMe

In the fundraiser for his stepdad, Mullar wrote that the family of three had just moved to Bundaberg, Queensland, from Victoria and “dad was the main source of income for our family. We just need a few donations to get us through the next couple of months with funeral costs. Any donation would be appreciated. Dad went to work to earn a living like everyone else, but he didn’t return.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend