Residents on the NSW Central Coast are giving back to their community in honour of a mum of two who was killed while walking to the shops.
On Friday, August 19, Leigh Black, 46, was walking across a pedestrian crossing when she was struck by a bus at Bateau Bay Square shopping centre. Despite paramedics' best efforts, she died at the scene.
Vanessa Kooger had known Leigh for years. Their children became friends and the two formed a close friendship.
"I'd look at her with her kids and just think what an amazing and loving mum she was," Ms Kooger told Yahoo News Australia, adding that her two children and husband Jeff were her entire life.
Ms Black was the kind of person who would do anything for you and would always put herself last. Ms Kooger said she was also beautiful, funny and to the point, and always eager to tell you what she thought.
Since her death, Ms Black's family is struggling, as is the wider community.
As Ms Black was originally from the UK, her extended family could not make it to Australia for the funeral, leaving them distraught.
Her two children, aged 10 and 8, are shattered. Her husband is heartbroken after losing his best friend.
"She was only 46-years-old, just going to get groceries in the morning and it could happen to anyone," Ms Kooger said.
"It's just such a shocking accident."
Park to be upgraded in mum's memory
In the wake of Ms Black's death, a woman from the Bateau Bay community expressed her desire to start a GoFundMe for the family.
Ms Kooger then jumped into action and messaged the woman and got in touch with Ms Black's family. The family said they did not want money from the community, however, they were willing to give back.
It was decided Ms Kooger would raise money through the GoFundMe to help upgrade a park in the area, so everyone could enjoy it for years to come.
Ms Black always took her children and Ms Kooger's children to parks and playgrounds, so it seemed fitting to upgrade one in her name.
Upgrading a park could cost upwards of $100,000, and even getting half of that would be amazing, Ms Kooger said.
The bus driver and the passengers on the bus at the time of the crash were not injured.
The driver has been charged with negligent driving occasioning death and dangerous driving occasioning death. He appeared at Wyong Local Court last week. The case was adjourned, and returns to court on November 2.
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