Yadwindeer Singh Bhatti: Widow of truck driver killed in Eyre Highway crash in SA shares grief for first time

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Yadwinder Singh Bhatti, 45, was killed when his truck collided with a road train on the Eyre Highway, about 27 km west of Yalata, on the edge of the Nullabor.
Yadwinder Singh Bhatti, 45, was killed when his truck collided with a road train on the Eyre Highway, about 27 km west of Yalata, on the edge of the Nullabor. Credit: GoFundMe

The widow of the truck driver killed in a head-on collision in South Australia has spoken for the first time of the “sudden loss”, saying the family has been left “shaken” by her husband’s death.

Yadwindeer Singh Bhatti, 45, was one of three men killed when a road train and a truck collided on the Eyre Highway, about 27km west of Yalata, at about 6.45 am on April 4.

A 25-year-old man from NSW, who was in the truck with Mr Bhatti, was also killed; as was a 77-year-old Adelaide man who was driving the road train at the time.

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Motorists said they could do nothing but watch as the trucks burst into flames.

The incident closed the major highway for a number of hours while SA Police’s Major Crash investigators examined the scene.

Ramandeep Singh Bhatti, widowed by the incident, launched a GoFundMe page to help her family make ends meet and farewell her husband in the wake of his death.

On the page, which has raised more than $66,000 in the three days since it was created, Mrs Bhatti paid a heartbreaking tribute to her “gentle” husband.

“His sudden loss has shown us how important it is to cherish and enjoy every, single moment, every second — just like he did, and I hope that it teaches us how to keep the memories of those around us whom we love most alive forever,” she said.

“His smile, gentle nature, goofiness, and love will be remembered after the end of time.

“When he kissed us all and said his final goodbye before leaving, none of us knew that he wasn’t going to come back and embrace us again.”

She said her husband’s sudden death has left the family “shaken up and unable to provide for his last rites”.

“We’ve been left unprepared and unable to look into the future with five mouths to feed.”

Neville Mugridge, 77, was killed when his road train collided with a truck on the Eyre Highway, about 27km west of Yalata on the edge of the Nullarbor.
Neville Mugridge, 77, was killed when his road train collided with a truck on the Eyre Highway, about 27km west of Yalata on the edge of the Nullarbor. Credit: GoFundMe

A separate GoFundMe page has been created for 77-year-old Neville ‘Slim’ Mugridge, whose road train crashed in the fatal incident.

Mr Mugridge’s employer of 40 years, TML Transport, started the fundraiser, describing ‘Slim’ as a “legend” of the trucking industry with more than 50 years behind the wheel.

TML Transport said Slim was a “colourful character and loved by many”, and that the fundraiser would help his wife, Delphine, pay for the “send-off he deserves”.

In her own heartbreaking tribute, Mrs Mudridge told 9News that truck driving was in her husband’s blood — “he just couldn’t give it up, because he tried to retire twice.”

“He was tough on the outside but soft on the inside, [and] would do anything for his friends,” she said.

More than 400 people have donated almost $38,000 to the GoFundMe in the three days since it was opened.

Mrs Mugridge thanked the public for their support, and said she would try to use it to pressure authorities to make highways safer.

The identity of the 25-year-old man killed in the crash has not been revealed.

The three men’s deaths bring the number of lives lost on South Australian roads in 2024 to 26.

South Australia Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the fatal crash.

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