Pictured: Girl, 6, killed when a buggy she and SIX other children were sitting on flipped over – as her distraught mother demands ‘justice’ and a family friend is charged
- A little girl has been tragically killed in a buggy crash in Gippsland, Victoria
- Olivia Stevens was visiting family friends’ farm with parents Scott and Yana
- She was joyriding in a packed buggy that rolled over around 4pm on Saturday
- Paramedics attended and took her to hospital, but unfortunately died of injuries
- Buggy driver Damien Gibson, 33, has been charged in the crash
Olivia Stevens (pictured) was tragically killed in a buggy crash in the Gippsland area of Victoria
A shattered mother demands justice after her six-year-old daughter was tragically killed when a buggy she was joyriding with six other children was blown over.
Scott and Yana Stevens visited the farm of friends of the family in rural Victoria on Saturday with their daughter, Olivia, who climbed into the four-seat buggy for the off-road ride with the other children – all under 10.
The vehicle rolled into a paddock at Rosedale farm just after 4 p.m., seriously injuring Olivia. She was flown to hospital by helicopter, but later died.
“The whole family is devastated. I don’t know if we’ll ever be the same. It’s quiet in the house without her… I want justice,” said Mrs. Stevens The Herald Sun.
Ms Stevens, who emigrated to Australia from Eastern Europe, and her husband are a well-known young family in the Gippsland area, with a Heyfield dental practice.
The tragedy has shocked the community. Olivia’s gym teacher Regan McDonald describes her as outgoing and friendly.
“She was very kind-hearted and willing to try anything,” said Ms. McDonald.
“She smiled really cute and told some really good jokes. It was heartbreaking to hear she didn’t make it.’
Olivia (pictured center) was visiting the family farm with her father Scott (left) and her mother Yana (right)
Buggy driver Damien Gibson, 33, appeared via video before the Sale Magistrate’s Court Monday with his arm in a sling after he was also injured in the crash.
He is also known in the Gippsland region as general manager of fertilizer company Gibson’s Groundspread.
Mr Gibson has been charged by detectives with the Major Collision Investigation Unit for culpable driving, dangerous driving resulting in death, reckless behavior endangering lives and reckless injury caused by the crash.
Detective Sergeant Roz Wilson said the investigation is still ongoing.
“It’s quite tragic in a small community to have families in such an incident. These vehicles are not toys and can be a deadly weapon,” she said.
“We are going to look at what safety measures – with regard to seat belts and helmets – have been taken and how the vehicle drove.”
“We are still investigating the circumstances of why so many people were in this vehicle.”
Damien Gibson (pictured left), 33, the director of a Gippsland Fertilizer company has been charged in the crash (pictured right)
Glenn Weir, assistant commissioner of the Victoria Police, said the crash – one of a number of deadly vehicle collisions over the weekend in the state – would have reverberated through the community.
“All those lost lives could have been prevented,” Asst Comm Weir said.
“All those families will be changed forever. Those small communities have been affected,” he said.
Tributes to the little girl started streaming online on Sunday.
“There are no words. Big hugs to you and your family,” one wrote.
“My dear,” added another.
Locals added that in such a close-knit community, emergency services on the scene would likely have known the family involved.
Mr Gibson will appear in court for a commitment next January.
Tributes have begun for the young girl (pictured with her mother Yana) with those who knew her and described her as “bright and bubbly”