Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends, and all who have been affected by the tragic deaths, of two of our employees, Mick Warren and Kevin Baker, on New Years Eve.
We at Pacific National are all profoundly reeling from their deaths. Two of our own didn’t get to go home to their families.
They were doing their job. Doing what they loved when tragedy struck. Driving a train from Sydney to Perth they were involved in a fatal level crossing incident with a truck, on the Barrier Highway at Bindarrah, in South Australia near the NSW border.
It was such a cruel way to end the year.
In times like these, words can never truly capture the magnitude of our grief. The loss of our colleagues has left an indelible mark on Pacific National, and we are all grappling with the profound sadness that comes from such an unexpected tragedy.
Mick and Kevin were deeply respected and beloved members of our Port Augusta team, and their memories will be honoured by our organisation.
The outpouring of sympathy and support we have received from our industry peers, our customers, the RTBU and regulatory bodies is felt deeply and appreciated. We want to acknowledge the courageous people on the ground at the site of the collision who leaped to help and the first responders.
We are sincerely grateful for everyone’s messages of support, along with the support, care and kindness directed towards Mick and Kevin’s families, and our people in the wake of their deaths. We are also grateful for the renewed and shared commitment to support safer level crossings.
Our commitment to safety above all else has never been stronger. We all owe it to Mick and Kevin to learn from this tragic event and do everything in our power to prevent such a tragedy in the future.
We will continue to work tirelessly with the authorities and do everything possible to understand through a thorough investigation what happened.
We will also work with the regulators and the broader transport industry including unions to educate road users and ensure measures are put in place which go further to preventing such horrendous incidents from happening again.
We’ve had teams on site since the incident to support our people and assist with the recovery, and on Friday our Chief Executive Officer, Paul Scurrah and Chair of the Pacific National Board of Directors, Catherine Livingstone are also visiting Port Augusta to pay their respects, offer condolences and grieve with the families of Mick & Kevin and our people at the Port Augusta Depot. They will also visit the incident site where Mick and Kevin lost their lives.
For anyone travelling on our roads please take extra care around railway level crossings. Every person who goes to work, has the right to go home safely every day.
Tragically for Mick and Kevin, and their families and friends, this did not happen.