TRUCKIES IN FATALITY
Tragedy: Two die in horror crash at Erskine Park
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