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Much-loved Wallan driver remembered

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The North Central Review
The North Central Reviewhttps://ncreview.com.au/
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Wallan man Gary Macdonald will be remembered as a much-loved member of the community.

The 65-year-old tragically lost his life following a Mauve Assumption College Kilmore bus crash last Wednesday afternoon on Wandong Road, Kilmore.

Approximately 30 students were on board the bus when it veered off the road and crashed through the rail guard, striking a tree.

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Passers-by were quick to come to the aid of the passengers, with local tradespeople breaking the glass of the bus to gain access and using a ladder to help free the students.

Ambulance Victoria dispatched significant resources to the scene, including two ambulance helicopters and 10 on-road resources.

Some of the students suffered minor injuries, while one student was taken to the Kilmore District Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening upper body injuries.

Victoria Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but released a statement last week stating it was believed Mr Macdonald had suffered a medical episode.

Friends of Mr Macdonald spoke to 9News last Thursday, describing him as ‘the friendliest man you could have come across’ and a man with ‘a heart of gold’.

Assumption College Kilmore Principal Paul Finneran told the Review that Mr Macdonald’s passing was felt deeply by the students.

“Gary was much loved by the students, and they are feeling his loss,” he said.

“Assumption College offers our deepest condolences to Gary Macdonald’s partner, Deb, and all his family members.

“We know that navigating this period will be extremely difficult and we offer our thoughts and prayers to all involved.”

It is understood that were no seatbelts on the bus, with Mr Finneran telling 7News he would be discussing the installation of seatbelts with Seymour Coaches.

“Having seatbelts on that bus would certainly help,” he said.

“We’ll be talking with the bus company (about) that.”

The college has since made counselling and support available to students and families, with headspace presenting a webinar for parents of children affected by the incident.

If you, or someone you know needs help or support, please contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, with CCTV/dashcam footage or information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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