Husband loses beloved wife to floodwaters in birthday tragedy

Floodwaters have claimed another life in the Hunter Valley, the result of separate but severe thunderstorms that eventually collided with the remnants of Cyclone Debbie.

Jan Baihn had been driving with her husband when their car was swept away.

Bob Baihn managed to escape and spent his birthday searching the swollen creek for his wife.

Surrounded by his friends and family, Mr Baihn had never been so alone.

He said he would never fill the hole in his life left by his beloved wife's death.

His wife Jan’s body was discovered in the creek on their property on Friday.


The couple had been driving to their Merriwa home when they were hit by a torrent of water.

Emergency services say it is a tragic reminder of the dangers of driving in floodwaters.

Even on a road they knew so well, the car was engulfed so quickly that there wasn’t time to wind down the windows and Jan was swept away.

Bob spent the night searching for his wife, cracking his ankle in desperation.

It was also his 74th birthday.

“I can’t believe that she’s not here,” friend Rosalie Drew said.

“I’d like to know she’s walking back up the road from Newcastle.”

Police spent Saturday recovering the Baihn’s car as Bob and Jan’s friends reflected on cherished memories.

“I will remember her bubbly, happy face. She was always there for whatever was happening,” Rosalie Drew said.

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