THE heartbroken family of a Ballarat man killed in a horrific truck crash near Meredith yesterday has issued a warning for all road users to take care in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Just drive carefully, simple as that,” Peter Curtis’ older brother Mick told The Courier.
“No-one should ever have to feel this pain a couple of weeks from Christmas.”
Peter, 52, was killed when his concrete truck veered off Coopers Bridge and fell down a steep embankment into the Moorabool River about 7.30am yesterday.
Peter’s father, Neville Curtis, said the family was at a loss to explain how the experienced truck driver crashed, yet said the notorious stretch of road was clearly the culprit.
“As you can imagine, we are in complete shock,” the emotional father said.
Peter’s older brother Mick remembered a loyal brother and friend who was renowned for his sporting prowess.
“He was just the most fun loving person,” Mick said. “And such a natural sportsman. Whatever it was, he was good at it.”
An avid tennis player, fisherman and golfer, the family said Peter first picked up a club when he was eight and had never looked back.
Reaching a top level handicap of nine, Peter played alongside Ray Drummond in the past.
His grief-stricken mother Madeleine said her son was a true family man who had the ability to put a smile on anyone’s face.
“He was just great to be around,” his mother said through tears. “He’d always help others ... he had so many friends, so many.
“Everywhere he went, everything he did, he’d make people happy. He was happy too.”
Admitting they had never faced grief like this before, the family said they hoped his death sent a message to other road users.
“Just take care and look out for others on the road,” said Peter’s brother Mick.
“Look at the devastation it can cause.”
As of yesterday, Peter’s death took the December road toll to 13 deaths in as many days.