A mother and daughter, a husband and wife, a local doctor and a colon cancer survivor are among ten people still missing after the horrific Hunter Valley bus crash while honoring the multi-state wedding guests.
The group were among 35 bus passengers picked up from the wedding of Maddy Edsell and Mitchell Gaffney at the Wandin Estate winery in Lovedale on Sunday. In a tragic turn of events, the Linq Buslines bus rolled down Wine Country Drive in Greta, near the Hunter Expressway exit, at around 11:30 p.m.
Among those missing are Nadene and Kyah McBride, who were heavily involved with Australia’s rules club, the Singleton Roosters. Nadene was the club’s president while her daughter Kyah played for the Singleton Roosterettes and was selected to represent the Sydney Swans in the Women’s Summer Series.
The Sydney Women’s AFL Masters Facebook page paid tribute to the couple, saying the community was shocked and saddened by the “tragic news”.
“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to all of the friends, families and teammates of Nads and Kyah and the Singleton football community,” the post read.
The couple and parents Andrew Scott, a physical therapist, and Lynan Scott, who worked for coal mining company Yancoal Australia, both played for the same singleton club.
The Roosters posted video of Andrew celebrating his 100th club game in April 2022, on the shoulders of Gaffney, the groom at Sunday’s wedding.
According to his profile on the Singleton Physiotherapy and Allied Health website, Andrew Scott was originally from Brisbane and loved sports and camping trips.
Another missing person is Zach Bray. Previous Facebook posts show he is a colon cancer survivor originally from Dee Why on Sydney’s northern beaches.
In a post shared by Bray in November 2020, he advocated his work as an ambassador for the Gut Foundation to raise awareness of gastrointestinal issues that can lead to colon cancer.
In another post shared earlier this year, Bray said he’s doing the training for his commercial helicopter license “as a wish-list thing that I’m just going to do.”
Among the passengers was local doctor Rebecca Mullen. New South Wales Health Minister Ryan Park confirmed on Tuesday that she had died in the crash and offered his condolences to her family.
“We lost one of us. “Someone who obviously had a long and illustrious career in medicine ahead of them was taken far too soon,” he said. “This has made a very dark day even darker for NSW Health.”
Mullen was stationed at Calvary Mater Hospital in the Hunter New England Local Health District after graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2021 and had also studied at the University of Sydney and the University of New England.
Photos show Mullen kayaking, hiking and competing in the Central Coast Half Marathon.
The UNE Nomads football club expressed its great sadness in a post.
“Bec was an extremely active member of the club, a wonderfully talented athlete and a friend to everyone who knew her. We send our sincere condolences to her friends and family,” the club wrote.
Melbourne wife Darcy Bulman is still missing after Sunday night’s tragedy.
A spokesman for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission confirmed Bulman’s involvement in the incident but was unable to provide further details. She has been an investigator in the Financial Regulator’s Collins Street office in Melbourne since late 2020 and previously worked at KPMG.
The ASIC spokeswoman said special consulting arrangements would be made for her close colleagues.
Wedding guest Kane Symons is also remembered. Posting on behalf of Symon’s family, Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club President Christine Gaby wrote that the Tasmanian club’s hearts were broken and that he sends love and support to his family and friends.
“Kane, also known as ‘Superman’, was a great athlete who competed at the highest level. But beyond that he was a leader, a great guy and a sidekick to many,” Gaby posted.
“We loved him and we will really miss him.”
Tasmanian Prime Minister Jeremy Rockcliff said he was “deeply devastated” when he heard the news.
“Kane Symons was a master surfing lifesaver who was taken from us way, way too soon,” Rockliff said.
Two other guests who are still missing are Australian rules trainer and singleton native Tori Cowburn and engineer Angus Craig, whose LinkedIn profile says he was a reliability engineer for BHP in Brisbane and originally from Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales originated.
“Knowing that a fair number of them are actually from our neighboring community of Singleton… makes it even more devastating.”
Cessnock Mayor Jay Suvaal
Cessnock Mayor Jay Suvaal said the community is still in “a state of shock”.
“Today we are waking up to learn more about the victims involved and unfortunately we know that many of them are actually from our neighboring community of Singleton, which makes matters even more devastating,” Suvaal told ABC News Morning on Tuesday.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner for New South Wales David Waddell said police could not confirm the identity of the 10 victims but said the passengers’ ages ranged from 20 to 60.
Speaking to reporters at Cessnock on Tuesday, Waddell said guests had traveled from “far and wide” for the wedding, including locals and those from afar.
“We will be working through this disaster victim identification process over the next few days,” Waddell said, adding that liaison officers spoke to the families.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 14 passengers were still in the hospital.
NSW Health said one patient is in critical but stable condition and eight patients are in stable condition at John Hunter Hospital; two patients were in stable condition at Maitland Hospital; one patient was in stable condition at Calvary Mater, Newcastle; and two patients at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney were in stable condition.
Waddell said injuries sustained ranged from minor to “very serious,” including broken bones, and that the two patients at RPA had surgery.
Community crisis centers have opened at Branxton Community Hall and Singleton Youth Venue.
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