Fundraising campaign for mother killed by flying tow bar
GENEROUS donors have rushed to support a crowd-funding campaign launched for the family of a young mum killed in a freak road accident last week.
More than 100 donors raised more than $14,000 for "Sarah Tonkin's Family Fund" just 14 hours after its launch on crowd-funding platform GoFundMe.
The campaign had been launched after 37-year-old Jan Juc mum Sarah Tonkin was killed on Friday afternoon while driving on Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Rd at Balliang East - after a passing truck flicked up a fallen tow bar from the road into her car.
Sarah, who was returning from a family funeral in Macedon, was killed in the crash, while her eight-month-old son Austin survived and was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital before being discharged.
The GoFundMe page, organised by Jan Juc's Jaime Nosworthy, will provide financial support to Sarah's husband Gregor Jeffery and Austin.
"Words are failing us to sum up Sarah's 37 years of life, taken unfairly soon," the campaign description read. "This December should have been such a special time for this new family to spend their first Christmas together.
"For a little boy that will never get the chance to know his mother, for a husband, parents, family and friends experiencing indescribable pain, and for everyone whose lives were enriched through knowing Sarah, please open your hearts to support this heartbroken community.
"Every cent, no matter how small, will help Austin and Gregor as they get back on their feet, contribute to medical and funeral costs, and provide financial support to this now single parent."
Earlier this week Gregor paid tribute to his departed best mate.
"I've lost my best friend. We were good friends before we even got together, and have been best friends ever since," he said.
"I used to say to her 'you're a bloody legend Tonks' - her nickname was Tonks - and we were a good team doing different things. We used to DJ together, we'd do a lot of hiking around the Surf Coast … she loved walking, and she just smashed that track every day with little Austin in the pram, and with her carrier.
"She's a legend and I miss her to bits."
Gregor and Sarah married in May 2014, before settling in Jan Juc three years ago - and eventually welcoming Austin to their family earlier this year.
Gregor said he and Austin were now being well supported by friends and family, and expressed his relief at the baby's safe escape from the crash.
"Little Austin is a tough little bugger, he's got one little scratch on his head, and he was discharged from the hospital within 24 hours, so he's back home and we're just taking it step by step," he said.
"She loved him so much. He's in good hands now."
Her parents Richard and Pauline Tonkin told the Sunday Herald Sun they had not stopped crying since they learned of the tragedy.
"All we have is tears," Mr Tonkin said. "Sarah was the most beautiful daughter.
"She was one of those people when they went into a room, the room just lit up."
Ms Tonkin's death was the fourth fatality on the Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Rd this year, after a 25-year-old Steiglitz man and a 61-year-old Clifton Springs woman were killed in a three-car collision on October 27, and following a March crash that killed a man in Lara.
The Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Rd is designated as one of the state's 20 highest-risk roads, and has been earmarked for upgrades and the installation of safety barrier.
In 2017 the state government called on VicRoads to fast-track safety works on the deadly road, after it claimed 10 lives in a period of about five years.
Visit the GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/f/sarah-tonkin039s-family-fund