Tragedy has once again struck the family of murdered school teacher Stephanie Scott, after her father was killed by a falling tree on his farm.
Emergency services were called to his Canowindra farm on Namami Road in the state’s central west just before midday on Tuesday.
Robert Scott, who was in his 60s, was clearing trees on the property when one fell and crushed him.
Leeton Shire Mayor Paul Maytom said it was “absolutely devastating” for the local community.
“On behalf of the community we can only offer our sincere condolences to the Scott family and friends,” he said
“I’m still struggling to come to terms with it.
“It’s just hard to comprehend that it could even happen.”
The death comes only weeks after his daughter’s killer Vincent Stanford was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and sexual assault of the Leeton High School teacher in April 2015, just days before her wedding.
Ms Scott’s burnt body was found by police in the Cocoparra National Park about 70 kilometres from the town of Leeton, five days after her disappearance.
Mr Scott described his daughter as “the nicest lady you’ve ever met” at a memorial picnic held in April last year.
“Tragedies happen, we can’t change that, we can’t deal with it any better than we have,” he said.
“We do know we had a great girl and we are going to continue to remember her for what she was.”
Outside court last month, Merrilyn Scott spoke of the difficulties the family had endured over the past 18 months.
“Losing her has shattered so many lives and we are all struggling with the consequences,” she said on October 14, immediately after the sentencing.
“So much has been taken away from us – Stephanie has had everything taken away from her.”
Tributes flow for ‘a tower of strength’
Ex-students of the former industrial arts teacher and others have expressed their grief on social media.
Friend Pauline Ann described Mr Scott in a Facebook post as “a tower of strength”.
“May you fly high with your beautiful daughter Stephanie,” she said.
Former student Jordi Bailey Brown wrote on Facebook: “RIP Mr Scott. One of the best teachers I had at school! Can’t believe this.”
Another ex-student, Emily Rose Bermingham, described him as her “school mentor, my year advisor, my teacher, a family friend and not to mention my best friend”.