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Death unites community spirit

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By Jessica Howard

Over $10,000 has been raised for the family of a young father who died in a fatal car accident on the way to work.

John Wilson was travelling to Springfield’s Garage in Ballan, where he was employed as a mechanic, on January 4, when his vehicle collided with a truck on Greendale-Trentham Road.

The 30-year-old leaves behind his fiancé Teresa and two-year-old son Logan.

Springfields Garage manager, Rebecca Treadwell said although John had only worked at the garage for two days, he was already part of the Springfield family.

“We had known for about a month that John was going to be working with us, his toolbox was here and he was driving to what would have been his third day on the job,” she said.

“When he didn’t turn up to work I thought he might have broken down and ran out of phone service, we could never have imagined that he had lost his life”.

In the weeks that followed John’s death, Ms Treadwell took to social media and created an online auction, where community members and local businesses donated items and vouchers to sell.

“We had two online auctions and donation tins located at ten businesses throughout Ballan,” Ms Treadwell said.

“I was so overwhelmed with the response. My original goal was $5,000 and we reached that from the first auction.

“So many people got on board, we had individuals and businesses from Melton, Blackwood, Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat and of course everyone here in Ballan. Most of who never even knew John; there really are some good people out there still”.

Ms Treadwell said part of the money was used to fund John’s wake, which was held at The Shamrock Hotel in Kyneton on Wednesday, January 24.

“Raising this money was all I could do,” she said.

“There’s a little boy who now has no Dad because he died travelling to here, his work, to support his family. It is just so devastating, and we will do everything we can do to help Teresa and little Logan, long after the fundraiser has finished”.

The 2018 road toll stands at 16, the same as this time last year 2017.