Chiltern crash: Second couple killed in collision near NSW border identified
The second couple killed instantly when their car was hit by a B-twin truck has been identified.
It was confirmed that Kerry and Noel Capes were killed when their Subaru Forrester was hit by the lorry at the junction of Wenkes Road in Chiltern, southwest of Albury near the NSW border, on Thursday morning.
Trevor and Lorraine Breen, from Wagga Wagga, in the same car as the Capes, were also killed in the crash. Trevor Breen and Kerry Capes were siblings.
All residents were in their seventies.
The two couples had stopped for a break and a coffee while on a road trip to visit friends and family in Melbourne when the tragedy unfolded.
Emergency services were photographed at the scene of the accident in Chiltern on Thursday
Trevor and Lorraine Breen, from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, were killed in the crash
The police suspect that the pensioners’ car stopped in front of the train without giving way.
“They made one mistake,” said Glenn Weir, Victoria’s deputy road police commissioner. “The roads are unforgiving.”
The 30-year-old truck driver, who was only an hour into a 12-hour shift, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
‘Shocked’ residents of Wagga Wagga retirement home Settlers Village, where both couples lived, and the local community paid tribute on social media, calling the news ‘devastating’.
“Our community has a heavy heart,” said one resident.
“The world is now missing some of the best,” another local woman added.
“I remember Lorraine, she was a very kind, compassionate person.”
“So sad that we all grew up together and have been friends for years,” said a Lake Cargelligo woman.
Another said that at a local lakeside show, the audience paid their respects with a minute of silence.
One woman said it was “such terrible news” and that the Breen family was “dearly loved and respected by many.”
“Very sad news, such beautiful people,” said another woman.
Assistant Commissioner Weird described the situation as ‘appalling’ and said it highlighted that a lack of concentration on the road could have tragic consequences.
“For whatever reason, they failed to yield the intersection and got hit with a B-double, and they were all killed instantly,” he said.
The male truck driver, 30, had just completed an hour long road trip when the accident occurred.
“The poor old lorry driver who is just doing his job, driving on and then is faced with something that is absolutely beyond his control,” said Mr Weir.
The male truck driver, 30, had just completed an hour long road trip when the accident occurred (scene pictured)
“That will stay with him for the rest of his life.”
The truck driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A mandatory test later confirmed that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 B-doubles, weighing up to 68 tonnes, are on the roads in Australia every day.
A car with four people in it weighs no more than 2.4 tons.