The Ferntree Gully community is mourning the loss of local man Emil Pich, 60, who died on 11 July after his Melbourne-bound coach smashed into an overturned B-double in Victoria’s northwest.
Mr Pich, 60, was driving a 45-passenger coach from Adelaide to Melbourne when it hit two trailers that had detached from a B-double truck and fell across the Western Highway near Horsham, blocking the road.
The Ferntree Gully grandfather has been remembered for his selfless evasive action, which resulted in the driver’s cabin taking the brunt of the accident.
Nine passengers were treated by paramedics at the scene, including two people who were airlifted to Melbourne with leg and arm injuries.
Mr Pich, from Ferntree Gully in Melbourne’s east, died from his injuries at the scene.
Company General Manager, Mr Frank Bono of Pich’s bus company, Firefly, said he had worked for the business for over 25 years.
“Tragically, one of our long standing team members lost his life today. We have expressed our condolences directly to a representative of the family,” Mr Bono said,
“The team member involved was Emil Pich, aged 60 years who had been a long standing team member of Firefly for more than 25 years, driving the interstate and intrastate services operated by Firefly. Emil was a highly valued member of our team and we are all absolutely devastated by his passing.”
“Our staff have all been informed of Emil’s passing and the incident is having a considerable impact on all concerned, having lost both a team member and friend”, Mr Bono said.
Mr Pich’s son, Rhys paid tribute to his father on Facebook.
“Not being able to say goodbye to my father Emil Pich feels like my heart has been smashed into a million pieces.”
“My father, my friend, a generous soul, you will always have a special place in the depths of my soul, our memories shared will be cherished for a lifetime and from the deepest depths of my heart you are forever loved.”
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash and believe the trailers of the B-double, which was travelling in front of the coach, had come loose and blocked the road.
A woman who was a passenger in the truck involved in the incident has since been charged by police with drug trafficking offences.
She is due to face Horsham Magistrates Court on July 29.