A South Australian truck driver who was killed in a crash on the Victorian side of the border early on Thursday morning has been remembered as a “great mate” who “touched the hearts of many”.
Steven Lawrie was killed when his B-double hit the back of another vehicle on the Western Highway at Serviceton about 2:20am.
That truck was part of a queue of traffic waiting to get into South Australia after new travel restrictions were announced on Greater Melbourne residents.
Mr Lawrie’s death has rocked the transport industry and trucking community, and friends have taken to Facebook to send condolences to his family and express their grief for the 46-year-old former MFS firefighter.
“RIP mate, I will miss our chats, drive on up to the pearly gates, your shift is over,” one said.
“Rest easy… fight those fires and drink heaps of beer up there, mate, you will be missed by many, lots of love to your family,” another said.
Others wrote that they could not believe “another great mate” had been “taken way too early”.
“You touched the hearts of many and will be missed by all. Sending my love to your family.”
The Paringa Football Netball Club — known as the Swans — in South Australia’s Riverland also paid tribute, expressing its condolences to his family.
“Steve was a very loyal Swannies supporter who was always there to offer his services,” the group posted on Facebook.
“He helped with colts trainings, umpiring senior and junior games and many other duties over recent times. Your shift is now over.”
Mr Lawrie’s death has prompted multiple investigations, including by Victoria Police into the circumstances of the crash.
SA Police has also launched a commissioner’s inquiry into border checkpoint management.