Fundraiser to support families of men killed in Salamander Bay crash

AN ESTONIAN man who died in a horrific car crash at Salamander Bay last week was alone in Australia and his workmates are fundraising to return his body home.

Construction workers Lauri Jarman and Jamie Ward were killed on Friday shortly before 1am near Soldiers Point Road after their car left left the road and slammed into a tree.

Mr Ward died at the scene while Mr Jarman died on the way to hospital.

Two other 31-year-old men, including the driver, were taken to John Hunter Hospital where they remain in a stable condition.

Mr Jarman, of Estonia, and Mr Ward, of Brisbane, worked for Myzac Constructions, which is contracted to a seniors housing project in Salamander Bay. 

Myzac Constructions owner Matthew Wiperi set up a GoFundMe page “to help the loved ones in this time of need”.

He said Mr Jarman had moved to Australia without his family.

“As you can imagine his family would be doing everything possible to bring him home,” he said. 

“We have looked into ways of making this happen for his grieving family but it comes with a large cost.

“Lauri is alone and we need to do everything in our power to have him back with the ones that love him most.”

Mr Wiperi said Mr Ward was “stoked” to be working on the project in Salamander Bay.

“Jamie Ward was raised by his grandparents. They were heartbroken after hearing the terrible news. We were told he was stoked with his new job and posted ‘how good it was to be winning again’. Jamie's grandparents are going to need all the financial support they can get to give the man they raised a memorable send off.”

Port Stephens-Hunter Superintendent Craig Jackson said initial investigations suggested “speed and alcohol were factors in this particular crash”.

Police have not yet laid charges with the driver still believed to be undergoing surgery.

“This could have quite easily been four people killed in this car, not two,” Superintendent Jackson said. 

He said earlier: “For police and emergency services this is very frustrating. More than 40 per cent of crashes involve speed as a factor. Alcohol – if you've been drinking, don't drive. If you’re drug affected, don’t drive.”

SCENE: Two men died in an early morning crash on Soldiers Point Road. The car slammed into a tree.

SCENE: Two men died in an early morning crash on Soldiers Point Road. The car slammed into a tree.