TWO communities have rallied to support the family torn apart by a horrific triple fatality road crash at Brookstead last week.
John and Luba Averkin, aged in their 80s, had been returning to their home in New South Wales with son Paul Averkin, 46, when tragedy struck on the Gore Hwy last Tuesday.
The trio had been visiting family in Queensland to celebrate the birth of a new baby into the large family.
The baby was the 19th grandchild for Mr and Mrs Averkin.
The trio's hometown of Orange was quick to rally behind the Averkin family which is facing a funeral bill of about $30,000 to transport them home to be buried with other family.
More than $12,000 was raised within days with contributions from around NSW, Queensland and overseas.
Close friend Natalie Daugherty said the Averkin family was in shock at the news, but had rallied together and was grateful for the support from the community.
The Orange City Council donated $5000 toward the funeral fund - a testament to the Averkins' involvement to the local community.
Mr and Mrs Averkin and their son have been remembered as kind and caring church-going members of their community who had just a month ago buried another family member after he died of cancer.
"One family should not go through such tragedy," distant relative Luda Mogilin wrote on the fundraising page.
"This was the final patriarch of the Averkin family who was tragically killed.
"You all have been an extension of our family. We feel your pain and sorrow."
Viktor Mogilin remembered his aunt, uncle and cousin as generous people.
"(Paul) was the kindest soul, help anyone at anytime (sic)," he wrote.
"My heart is numb from this shocking news and thoughts with the entire Averkin family.
"They will be deeply missed."
The family and Orange community also sent well-wishes to the truck driver who was not physically injured in the crash.
"But I can't imagine what he must be going through," Mrs Daugherty wrote on the fundraising page.
"Many prayers are being lifted for this man."
The fundraising page closed yesterday afternoon.
A special offering was held in support of the family at the New Life City Church on Sunday.
Investigations into the crash are continuing and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
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