Girlfriend Of Hunter Valley Crash Victim Delivers Touching Speech At First Funeral From Tragedy

hunter valley bus crash victims tributes

The girlfriend of a Hunter Valley bus crash victim has delivered a touching speech at the first funeral from the tragedy.

28-year-old Angus Andrew Craig‘s funeral was held at Worrigee on Monday morning, where friends and family shared touching tributes.

Girlfriend Bella Liddy, who was also on the bus at the time of the crash, reportedly told funeral attendees how “warm and thoughtful” her partner was. The pair had just moved in with each other five weeks before the wedding.

“It breaks my heart that our time together was cut so short, he hadn’t even memorised his new postcode,” she said.

“It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the bright, thoughtful and generous person he was.

“I know I am a better person for having loved and having been loved by you.

“It’s so hard to put into words the immeasurable impact Angus had on my life and even harder to accept the fact we’ve lost such a beautiful, kind and exuberant soul.”

Angus was one of 10 people killed in the horror crash.

Junior doctor and bus crash victim Rebecca Mullen‘s funeral will reportedly be in Singleton on Wednesday. Fellow victim and AFL player Kane Symons‘ will be in Tasmania on Sunday.

The bus driver, 58-year-old Brett Andrew Buttonwas charged with 11 offences including 10 counts of dangerous driving occasioning death on Monday. He was granted bail on Tuesday, June 13. Magistrate Robyn Richardson confirmed the case was unlikely to see trial until 2024 at the earliest.

The bus was travelling from the wedding of local couple Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell at Wandin Estate in the Lovedale area of the Hunter Valley. It was taking guests back to their accommodation in Singleton when it crashed into a guard rail near Greta on Sunday, June 11.

Alongside the 10 people killed, 25 were left hospitalised or with various injuries.

Thanks to a fundraiser co-managed by Rotary Australia and the NSW state government, more than $490,000 has been raised so far for surviving victims and the families of those who died.

This count does not include the $100,000 that the state government has committed to the cause.

“I’ve done a lot of these projects, I’ve never seen that rise so rapidly,” Rotary community services chair Brian Coffey told the ABC.

“It will be for anything from funeral expenses, excess medical expenses, accommodation, travelling involved with funerals or medical needs, out-of-pocket expenses from the loss of employment, the list goes on.

“We are trying to work out every area where we can assist.”

Days after the tragedy, tributes flowed for victims of the crash, many of whom are from the town of Singleton.

According to Singleton’s Neighbourhood Centre President Sue George, town members are a tight-knit group, and are dealing with this tragedy in their own way.

“They’re not out in the street, they’re not out talking,” she told the ABC.

“If you have driven down the main street, it’s very, very quiet.

“People aren’t out and about, they’re at home, they’re processing what’s going on.”

All 10 passengers are now accounted for. The first to be officially identified by police was Tasmanian man Kane Symons.

Symon’s partner Kyah McBride and her mother, South Australian woman Nadine McBride also died in the crash.

Loved ones of these victims and others shared heartfelt statements on Facebook.

“We are heartbroken to hear of the tragic passing of Kane Symons in the Hunter Valley bus tragedy,” wrote Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) president Christine Gaby.

“Kane, otherwise known as ‘Superman’, was an amazing athlete who competed at the highest level. But more than that he was a leader, a great bloke and a mate to many. We adored him and he will be truly missed.”

Elsewhere on Facebook, a friend of Symons’ wrote that he was “taken way too soon”.

“You are so missed Kanos. Rest easy,” the post read.

Tributes were also shared for other victims of the crash, who were originally unaccounted for but have since been identified.

One such individual is Andrew Scott, who was a member of the Redland-Victoria Point Sharks Football Club in Victoria.

The club posted an official tribute to Scott via Facebook.

“He was a terrific member of our community both on and off the field and was characterised by his big heart and willingness to help anyone,” it wrote.

A friend of Scott’s also made a tribute to him and his wife Lynan Scott, who also died in the crash.

“My heart absolutely breaks for everyone involved, especially Andrew & his wife leaving behind two beautiful little baby boys,” the post read.

One individual posted a heartfelt tribute to another victim, Angus Craig.

“Gus, you were the most beautiful soul,” they wrote.

“I can’t understand this and I don’t think I ever will.”

Another friend of the victims said they knew six of them closely.

“My mind’s still trying to comprehend everything,” they wrote to Facebook.

“My heart is heavy with pain.”

Road Trauma Support Group NSW member Tom Daher posted a statement on Tuesday morning informing the loved ones of the victims that they are not alone.

“We know the community will rally around those left behind in the wake of this crash,” he said.

“What many don’t know is the journey that lies ahead.”

More to come.

(Image: Getty Images / Roni Bintang).