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Local Tragedies 1950 - 1964

The Sunshine District, like all districts has seen it's fair share of tragedies.

The most significant accident was the Sunshine Station Railway disaster in 1908. At that time it was Australia's worst railway accident. 

But there has been many more tragedies in the local district and whether these have been work site accidents, motor car accidents, level crossing accidents, drownings in the district's creeks & pools and murders. Other tragedies have not happen in the district but the families of the district has had to mourn these events.

A sample of these tragedies have been recorded in various Victorian papers.


Radio mast crash fatal accident, Alan McDonald (Windsor) & John Donald King (South Melbourne)

Old woman loses life in fire

Knocked down by car in Collingwood when attending a football match, William Neil Lawson

Young man killed by hit-run driver, Eric John Trotter, Aged 23

20,0000 pound damage by fire, Leroc Oil Company

Fire destroys factory, Kreglinger & Fernau Company

Woman killed by express train, Katharina Cebisev, Aged 58

Speedway death accidental, Stanley Albert Box, Aged 26

20 Hurt in hostel fire, frantic escapes by migrants

Death in blast at explosive plant, damaged over wide area, Robert William Crago, Aged 62

Two children fatally hurt, Kevin Daniel, Aged 6

Road deaths rise in first 'Summer' weekend, William Hertford, Aged 4

Schoolboys use bridge as short cut, Edward Antoni Kordus, Aged 25



Young men killed in tragic accidents, Constable Alexander Percival Wynd & Percival "Percy" Robert Fraser

Fine citizen  killed by hit-run driver, Alfred "Alf" Clarke

Killed in accident, David James "Jimmy" Hyett

Young girl killed in accident, Judith Joy Kent, Aged 2

10,000 pound fire at White City Dog Track

Stallion fatally throws rider, Ivor Wallis, Aged 36

Road death of traffic constable, Alexander P. Wynd, Aged 26

Deer Park grass fire

Christmas Day, Struck and killed by truck, Richard Joseph Jolley, Aged 32

Tank explodes in Braybrook oil fire


Diligent efforts to recover body - Forrest St Pool (Kororoit Creek) drowning, Keith William Reeves (R.A.A.F. Trainee)

Uncompleted house on fire, I.C.I. Housing Estate

Tragic toll in road accident, George & Agnes May James

Huge grass fire, Deer Park

Tragic end to shooting trip, Arthur Woolley

Lit fire and it drenched him, Wiltshire File Company

Fatal accident, Patrick Kelly

Willful damage at factory, Fire Brick Company

Man injured in fall from bus and dies in hospital, Reuben James Gustavus May, Aged 77


Fatally injured, Cyril Steadman

Deer Park shed blazes, Govt starts inquiry, I.C.I.

Paper feeds 50,000 pound carpet factory fire, British-Australian Carpet Manufacturing Company

Shot kills mother, May Rita Jenkins

Sunshine rocked by third explosion, Nobles

Boy killed after fall from train, Brian Arthur Wilkes, Aged 13

Fire caused by faulty work, Brooklyn Migrant Hostel

Electric shock hurls young man to death, Eric Keith Hunter

Body found in paddock, Alex Leontiess

Man's Body in Quarry, George Gallagher, Aged 83

Man dies after accident, Battista Campo, Aged 26

Admits hit-run, police claim, Vincent Ernest Charles Fry, Aged 20

Six people drown in Victoria, Virgil State, Aged 28

Fatally injured, Alfred Milburn, Aged 37

Man killed at rail siding, Bronislow Czech, Aged 28


Two killed in crossing smash Furlong Rd

Teenager Bernard John Hall & horse killed, Albion - St. Albans Rd, St. Albans

Boy drowned in Kororoit Creek, Peter Kakiczerskai

Church fire at Sunshine, Our Ladys of Sunshine Catholic Church

Maniac sets fire to churches at Sunshine

Tragic death of young girl, Judith Elizabeth Gill, Aged 14

Driver fighting for life, Richard Edwards & Lindsay Doubleday injured

Death of coach's mother, Helen Hester "Nellie" Kinder

Deer Park house fire, Mrs Merritt

Boy drowns in waterhole, Henrik Gonera, Aged 7

Woman dies, Mrs Susannah Whitford, Aged 41

Fire destroys church, Holt St Deer Park

2 men died on road, Samuel "Charles" Bailey, Aged about 40

Baby killed in car collision, Kevin Pearson, Aged 18 months

Fatally injured, intersection of Omar St and Mitchell St, Ernest James Keely, Aged 28


Man killed, son hurt, Jeffery William Edwards

10,000 pound factory razed, Viterous Enamellers

Tragedy in Sunshine fire, mother fails to save her baby, Christopher Leary, Aged 4 months

Mother died in this crash, Elsie May Thomas, Ages 36

Father dies after crash, Norman Henry Thomas, Aged 35

They rally to hero's widow, Henricus van der Kruys, Aged 41

Fire at shop, McIntyre Rd

Cyclist killed, Charles Trezise Taylor, Aged 32

Man drowns in river, Zamulus Tallwaldis, Aged 29

House fire, 14 Stewart Street, Braybrook

Local lad killed, Jeffrey William Webb, Aged 15


Mother braves flames to save children, Mrs E. Slowik

The fireman in pyjamas, Invicta Mills

Sunshine man killed in semi-trailer crash, Roderick Duncan Bish, Age 30

Two motor cyclists die in weekend accidents - Heorgious Vasiloghou, Aged 22

Workmates killed in crossing smash, Leslie Arthur Norwood & Hector Alan Jackson

Boy cyclist killed, William Walter Godwin, Aged 10

Crushed under car, Mr. Alfred Porter, Aged 44

Family hit by tragedy, William 'Bill' James Hardy, Aged 42'

Young boy killed, Laurence John Willis, Aged 7

Fatal accident at level crossing, Georgious Vasiloghou, Aged 22

Tragic death of young man, Gordon William Masson, Aged 23

House damaged by fire - 11 Thompson St Maidstone

Boy, 2, toodles off to death, Paul McDonald Foley

Football coach killed, George Eric McLaren, Aged 31

Young married man killed, Roderick Duncan Bish, Aged 30

Fatal accident, Richard Cecil Gibson, Aged 62

House damaged by fire - 23 Couch St Sunshine

Killed in trench, Mattro 'Luigi' Ferros, Aged 28

Teacher's death casts gloom over school, Elvin Patrick Collier, Aged 37

Quarry accidental death, Walter Zeltins, Aged 31

House destroyed by fire, 12 Hesser St Sunshine West

Killed near own home - Farquahar Alexander McKenzie, Aged 75

Truck kills small boy, Robert Stangstons, Aged 5

Unfortunate accident, Warren Gerald Chandler, Aged 19

Youth killed in accident, Barry Kenneth Holman, Aged 17


Young man loses life in holiday tragedy, Graham Elston Doak, Aged 21

Albion man drowned, Louis Xuereb, Aged 21

Sunshine men killed in road accidents

Youth's tragic death at Albion Station, Anatol Slesarewich, Aged 16

Big Deer Park fire sweeps 750 arces

Woman killed on Deer Park Rd, Valda May Earle Phillips, Aged 41

Tragic smash at Bacchus Marsh, William & Leonard Hunter

Timber stacks saved from fire threat

Ballarat Rd motor smash, Mrs. Blanche

Suspicious fire at migrant centre

Body under bed in burning house, Peter Gontar, Aged 41

Small Boy killed on roadway, John Calvitto, Aged 4

Primus flame causes bungalow fire, 139 Suspension Street

Sunshine Road fatality, Matthew John Buckley, Aged 20

Police fight fire, U.F.S. Dispensary yard

Maribyrnong River death trap

Accidental death, Robert John Hanson, Aged 22

Man's body taken from river, James Mack, Aged 52

Hundreds see result of fatal smash, Allison Frances Braybrook, Aged 26

House & contents lost in fire, Phoenix Street

Died after accident, Victor Giggins, Aged 70

Accident victim was St. Albans man, Constable Edward James Dore, Aged 26

Hot ashes blamed for fire, 42 Stanford Street

Fire at factory, Burke St

Boy loses life in car smash, Mervyn Flower, Aged 15

Severe fire damage at St. Albans house, Winifred Street

Family hard hit of father's death, Marinkov Bogoljub

Factory fire, Wiltshire Files

Died from accident, Alexander Lyell Milne, Aged 43

Severe fire damage at St. Albans house, 80 Oberon Street

Brother, Sister die in Ballarat Rd accident, Gwen & Jeffery Olsen

Balwyn man killed when car capsizes, David Gavin Malloch, Aged 39

Fire damaged house at 17 West Esplanade St. Albans

Elderly man dies from burns, James Hall, Aged 84

Albion family in tragic smash, Margaret 'Mollie' Philp Planche, Aged 36

Braybrook School fire episode


Ashley St man dies from injuries, Joseph Evan Smith, Aged 57

Youth quizzed about fire in factory

Fatal accident on highway, Grace Matthews

Man's body on railway line

Child killed, Helmut Millar, Aged 4

Man found dead in paddock, Gerald Donovan, Aged 72

Weekend tragedies hit district, Sharon Margaret Mairs, Aged 15 Months

Death car was in poor shape, Antoni Gladysz, Aged 41

Struck by girder, William Vernon King, Aged 32

Baseballer's club burnt out

Speedway crash, Alfred "Alf" Beasley, Aged 38

Flying rock victim identified, William Lowe

Weekend tragedies hit district, Man burnt to death

Man killed by rail truck, Joseph Faure, Aged 35

Baby dies after eating tablets, Paul Zaiko, Aged 14 Months

Cyclist killed, Josef 'Joseph' Matkowski, Aged 35

Fire at shop, 501 Ballarat Rd Sunshine

Pedestrian dies after accident, Aliksander Mronczyk

Weekend tragedies hit district, Robert James King & Robert John King

Crossing claims another victim, Thomas Dillani

Man killed on roadway, Mario Foranro, Aged 41

St. Albans house fire, 16 Winifred St

Small boy killed, Paulus Theodorus Maria Koek, Aged 7



Body of missing man found in disused well, Stanislaw Kaska, Aged 35

Child killed crossing road, Shirley Ann Dyson, Aged 4

Factory tragedy, Angelo Azzopardi, Aged 44

Three deaths in Sunshine’s week-end of tragedy

St. Albans resident drowns, Mr. Henry

Man dies from crash from bike, Theodore Laczynski, Aged 50

Tragic death of popular local man, Alan O'Brien, Aged 32

Disaster hits local family, fire 1 Lyall St

Old resident killed in car accident, Robert Stanley McBride, Aged 63

Human side of tragic event, Agnes Schupfer, Aged 26

Fire looked terrible but did no harm

Tragic loss, James Arthur Smith, Aged 19

Local man fatal accident, Lindsay Edward Broughton, Aged 17

Man saw new baby, killed on way home, Stefan Kreitner, Aged 23

One-man brigade out fire out, Barclay Dry Cleaners, Sun Cres

Tragic death of former resident, Gladys Elizabeth Belt, Aged 43

Young man found shot


Child killed while crossing railway, Rex Andrew Kendall, Aged 7


Altona Beach drowning, William Lindsay Wegener, Aged 32

Youth club equipment was in fire razed hall

Man's body found in dam

Fatal accident, Henry Alexander O'Brien, Aged 53

Young man's death was tragic, Brian Francis James McNeill, Aged 24

Man's body found, Ante Juric, Aged 39

Boy killed on way to school, Malcolm John Lock, Aged 6

Woman dies after bite from snake, Mona Josephine Bourke, Aged 56

Elderly woman killed, Jane Elizabeth Gilson, Aged 79

Man dies after car accident, Clarence Walter Leonard Priest, Aged 66

Cyclist dies after collision, Kasimir Habet, Aged 21

Fatal rock fall, Jelinek Zdenek, Aged 27

Train killed woman at Tottenham, Maria Petronella 'Mary' Wyma, Aged 33

Failed to stop after fatal accident, Alan Taylor, Aged 14


Christ The King Primary School fire

Two men die in accidents, Frank Bajszczak, Aged 36

Drowned boys only members of family, Dennis & George Egoroff

Blaze of waste covered Sunshine with soot

Boy found in vat at ink factory, John Patrick Olmstead, Aged 15

Television mechanic electrocuted, Giovanni Pinci, Aged 30

Family homeless after fire, 20 Kate Street St. Albans

Man killed in quarry accident, John Francis Ricardi, Aged 30

Death by accident, Florence Ursula Burton, Aged 78

Workmates mourn for victims of crossing smash, Debrincat & Haber

Girl thrown from taxi killed, Helena Gawlowski, Aged 17

Driver of ill-fated car on traffic charges, Ronald Bowen Jack Martin

Fire in wrecker's yard adds hazards for fighters

Two men die in accidents, Joseph Waga, Aged 38

Braybrook woman accident victim, Martha 'Marjorie' Bloom, Aged 33

Fatal accident on railway line, Michael McMahon, Aged 23

Policeman's daughter drowned in dam, Kerry Ann Robinson, Aged 19 months

Tragic death of Mr. & Mrs. A. More

Tottenham North Primary School fire

Workman's death, William Alfred Grant, Aged 45

Albion family in Eilden boat Tragedy, Rita Isabel & Graham John Mitchell


First fatal accident on overpass, Joseph Gatt, Aged 22

Death of youth club leader, Albert 'Jack' Cameron, Aged 35

Migrant family's life is tale of misfortune

Driver dies after car rolls over, Patrick Wall, Aged 32

Two holiday deaths, Gertrude Elizabeth Fraser, Aged 39

Eisner wife convicted of murdering daughters

Knocked down by a car in Ballarat Rd Deer Park, Dorothy Minter, Aged 58

Fire was nearly master

Highway death of pedestrian, Walter William Whitehouse, Aged 79

Tragedy follows theatre visit, Bruce Harmer, Aged 18

Plane crash victim wed to local girl, Peter Hearnden, Aged 28

Woman puts out factory fire

Two holiday deaths, Gilbert Leslie Hand, Aged 19

Burning of house man charged, 31 Sun Cres


Accident victim was keen church worker, Robert F. Newnham, Aged 32

Church building burnt out, Sunshine Methodist Church

Holiday death, Helen Peterson, Aged 54

Engineer killed, Henry Robinson, Aged 70

Girl parachutist's tragic death, Antonia 'Toni' Blahut, Aged 19

Double fatality, Anthony 'Tony' Nicholls & Lorna Reynolds

Young man dies in road smash, Kevin James 'Peter' Hyde, Aged 35

Heavy blow for widow, Peter Schmitz, Aged 13

Girl's body found in deep end of pool, Kay Sturman, Aged 11

Drapery shop burnt out, Hampshire Rd

Road crash death, William Thomas Curtin, Aged 52


Accident victim, Ian George Harrison, Aged 25

Deer Park man killed on road, George Lutton Morison

Fire destroys house, Sydenham

Warning of level crossing death unheeded, Milan Mandic, Aged 58

Cyclist killed, Alfred 'Frederick' Richards, Aged 9

Kero heater starts fire, 75 Conrad Street, St. Albans

St. Albans Trench Victim, Colin Arnot Chapman, Aged 42

Businessman dies in accident, George Gage, Aged 63

Fire hits two properties, 15 & 17 Moama St, Braybrook

Man killed at quarry, Guiseppe Dinatale, Aged 35

Death of young motor cyclist, Neil Murray Potgieter, Aged 19

Tip fires blamed for fencing loss

Local youth in fatal crash, Norman Edward Brewis, Aged 20

Boys form their own brigade when fire race towards homes

A day of tragedy, Frederick Marshall, Charles Emmins & Alfred Andre Bobek

House fire damage, Fox Road, St. Albans

Man killed at St. Albans, George John Jeffreys, Aged 31

St. Albans man dies on water ski, Alfred Samuel Goddard, Aged 42

Mystery blaze, Burke St, Braybrook

Tragedy brings road job to highest priority


In memory of Annette, Aged 9

Killed in car, Doris Grenfell, Aged 64

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