Tragedy: Two die in hor­ror crash at Ersk­ine Park

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Jarvis

A HOR­RIFIC truck ac­ci­dent in Ersk­ine Park on Thurs­day claimed the life of a Pen­rith man and another truckie for­merly from the area. Po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing. ››

THE com­mu­nity has paid trib­ute to the two truck driv­ers who died in a head-on col­li­sion at Erk­sine Park on Thurs­day.

Tributes have flooded so­cial me­dia for Peter Cardilini, of Pen­rith, and Chris “Basil” Blake, of Blayney who is thought to have pre­vi­ously lived lo­cally.

Emer­gency ser­vices rushed to Lenore Drive, Ersk­ine Park, just after 1.30pm on Thurs­day fol­low­ing re­ports two heavy ve­hi­cles had crashed head-on.

Po­lice said both trucks caught fire and the driv­ers died at the scene.

Mr Cardilini, who had been driv­ing home when the crash oc­curred, had re­cently joined Llandilo Ru­ral Fire Brigade which is fly­ing its flag at half-mast.

Pen­rith coun­cil­lor and Llandilo RFS mem­ber Kevin Crameri said Mr Cardilini’s death was deeply felt.

“Our brigade is re­ally shaken up over this,” Cr Crameri said.

“It just goes to show the cal­i­bre of the per­son, that they are in such a state over this ac­ci­dent. He was a very liked per­son.”

Mr Cardilini was em­ployed by Aus­tral Bricks (Brick­works). Manag­ing direc­tor Lind­say Par­tridge told The Stan­dard the com­pany was as­sist­ing the fam­ily with the fu­neral ar­range­ments.

“We’re deeply sad­dened over the loss of our friend and em­ployee and we know it’s hard for his fam­ily …”

In the midst of their own grief, the Blake fam­ily reached out to the Cardilini fam­ily in an emo­tional state- ment to The Stan­dard:

“The Blake fam­ily would like to of­fer their deep­est con­do­lences to the Cardilini fam­ily who have also lost a deeply loved fam­ily mem­ber. They wish to sin­cerely thank all fam­ily and friends who have been sup­port­ive to both fam­i­lies and to the gen­eral pub­lic who have also been sup­port­ive …”

Long-time fam­ily friend An­drew Wil­liamson de­scribed Mr Blake as an ex­tremely friendly per­son.

“He ac­cu­mu­lated an ex­treme amount of friends,” Mr Wil­liamson said.

“He was a real peo­ple’s per­son.”

Mr Wil­liamson set up a Face­book page for friends and fam­ily to share mem­o­ries and tributes of Mr Blake who left be­hind his fa­ther, Roger, and daugh­ters Sarah and Whit­ney.

Dozens of truck driv­ers have shared pic­tures of their trucks with head­lights on in a “Lights on for Basil” trib­ute.

A Go­FundMe page for the fam­ily has raised $4370 of $6000 in just three days.

The page author wrote: “We all know how much brother Basil had done for oth­ers at the drop of a hat. So now would be a good time to show Basil’s fam­ily how much he does mean to us all.”

NSW Po­lice North West Metropoli­tan Re­gion tac­ti­cian In­spec­tor Si­mon Maund said the ac­ci­dent was a tragic re­minder of “how frag­ile life is”.

A Joint Traf­fic Task­force started its in­ves­ti­ga­tion at a Kemps Creek truck­ing business, be­lieved to be Mr Blake’s em­ployer, about 7am on Mon­day.

Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cers, crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors and RMS in­spec­tors re­viewed fa­tigue records and ex­am­ined ve­hi­cles.

A to­tal of 14 heavy ve­hi­cles were in­spected and eight were is­sued with de­fect notices. Po­lice said four of the trucks sent to the RMS safety sta­tion at Wether­ill Park failed to ar­rive.

Two other trucks had ma­jor me­chan­i­cal de­fects.

He ac­cu­mu­lated an ex­treme amount of friends An­drew Wil­liamson

Two truckies died after their ve­hi­cles col­lided head-on in Ersk­ine Park on Thurs­day af­ter­noon; Peter Cardilini and Chris “Basil” Blake with his daugh­ters. Main pic­ture: Melvyn Knipe

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