The family of a Riverland identity killed in a sickening crash say they feel pity for the driver accused of causing her death.
He’s facing another charge now, as the woman’s husband has also died in hospital.
Mike and Trish McAuliffe were inseparable. Now their family hopes they’ve been reunited.
“They were so special in so many people’s lives,” Julie Marshall, Trish’s sister, said.
Trish was killed instantly when the 69-year-old driver of a Ford crossed onto the wrong side of the Sturt Highway last month. Mike was critically injured.
“He fought for so long over this last few weeks, we thought he was getting better,” Ms Marshall said.
They never told him Trish was gone and 27 days on, he lost his battle.
“They couldn’t have tried harder to save him, but it wasn’t to be,” Ms Marshall said.
“He passed away yesterday while I was there.”
The driver of the Ford is facing another cause death by dangerous driving charge.
“I feel sorry for him because his life has changed also,” Ms Marshall said.
“It wasn’t a hoon driver, it was a man with a 50 year unblemished driving licence.”
A celebration of the couple’s lives will be held at the Renmark civic centre on Saturday week. The family’s expecting hundreds of people from all over Australia to attend.
Their dog Jock was also killed in the crash and their cat, Macca, was lost at the scene.
But there is some happy news.
“Twelve days down the track, somebody found him (Macca) down a rabbit hole,” Ms Marshall said.
“He was alive and well and he’d travelled 15 kilometres.”