A Daylesford crash victim sent a text message to his best friend before the fatal accident

A Daylesford crash victim sent a text message to his best friend before the fatal accident

Udayveer’s father, Simarjeet Thind, said the community was in disbelief. He said that Udayvir could not stop crying after hearing the news.

“It’s really shocking for everyone; We can’t believe it.

The Bhatias moved into the house next door to the Thind family in a new subdivision in Tarneit, west of Melbourne, just a month and a half ago after experiencing delays with their builder.

Vivek, an Australia Post delivery driver, and Ruchi, an accountant, had just finished decorating their dream home when they headed to Daylesford for the weekend.

On Friday night, Sharma, Chugh and Anvi were at the Thind family’s home, playing football with their two sons, as well as Vihaan and Abeer, late in the evening.

The families were planning a neighborhood party to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, the following weekend.

Daylesford accident victims Vivek Bhatia and his wife Ruchi Bhatia.

Daylesford accident victims Vivek Bhatia and his wife Ruchi Bhatia.

On Saturday morning, as the Bhatia family prepared to set off on the 90-kilometre journey to Daylesford, they handed over the keys to their house to Thind’s wife.

“Just in case there’s an emergency,” they said before driving off.

Thind never expected to find himself on the phone with Vivek’s parents two days later to tell them what had happened. Vivek’s family will now travel from India to Victoria to make funeral arrangements and sit at Ruchi and Abir’s bedside.

Thind said he only met the Bhatias in July, but they have become very close friends. So much so that they were thinking of changing schools, so that their children could study and play football together.

Wyndham Mayor Susan McIntyre went to Daylesford on Tuesday morning to honor the victims and pay their respects. She said the incident struck the heart of her community.

“Our community, you know, we’re sad too, really heartbroken,” she said.

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She said Wyndham was home to many first-generation immigrants who may not have family support networks in Australia. This made community support even more important for those who faced tragedy.

“Our community…we have people from all over the world, so people don’t necessarily have that extended family support, so our community is really supportive,” she said.

A community vigil will be held in Windham in the coming days. Another multi-faith vigil will be held in Daylesford on Wednesday afternoon at the Anglican Church Parish in Daylesford.

The memorial is in Daylesford on Tuesday morning.

The memorial is in Daylesford on Tuesday morning.credit: David Estcourt

Police said late Tuesday they had questioned the driver of the car, a 66-year-old man from nearby Mount Macedon, at hospital.

“At this time, the driver has not been charged, and investigations will continue after he is eventually released from care,” police said in a statement.

Pratibha Sharma, 44, her daughter Anvi, 9, and her partner Jatin Chugh, 30, died in the Daylesford accident.

Pratibha Sharma, 44, her daughter Anvi, 9, and her partner Jatin Chugh, 30, died in the Daylesford accident.

The man is unknown to police, has no previous convictions and returned a negative alcohol reading at the scene.

Police will also complete a re-enactment of the incident at a later date.

A makeshift memorial to the victims has continued to grow over the past 24 hours, with people dropping off more flowers, toys and other items in memory of the five victims.

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This was the last remaining sign of the accident, apart from a few marks left on the grass and caution tape around the entrance to the pub.

On Tuesday, local traders remained gloomy as counseling services were offered to people affected by the event.

With Lachlan Abbott

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