Young truck driver Johnny Stubbs, killed in horror crash with train in Geelong, had just become a father again for the third time

A truck driver killed in a horror collision with a train in Victoria had become a father again for the third time just weeks ago, it’s been revealed.

Johnny Stubbs was driving his rig through a level crossing on Station Street in Geelong at about midday on Monday when it’s believed the trailer became stuck on the tracks.

A Melbourne-bound train smashed into Mr Stubbs, 30, and he was declared dead at the scene.

His friend Darryl Edwards described the accident as “tragic” and revealed Mr Stubbs, from Frankston in Melbourne, has three children.

“His little man [is] just weeks old,” Mr Edwards said. “His beautiful partner … now has to piece together a shattered life and dreams that they both once had.”

The young father was “born to drive trucks” and had a “massive love” for his job, “no matter how hard the task”.

“But Johnny’s family was his true love that he idolised and adored,” Mr Edwards said.

“This man was as Aussie as an Aussie could get. He always had a big grin and a chat and time to talk and listen, giving everyone the time of day.

“[He was] just going about his business at work getting the job done, no doubt just itching to get home and be with his family and brand-new baby. Johnny didn’t make it home.”

Mr Edwards has created a GoFundMe to help support Mr Stubbs’ partner, Georgie Stokie, and their children. It has so far raised more than $17,000.

He wrote about the “incredible and heartwarming” response on his Facebook page, Truckspotting Ararat, yesterday.

“I take no credit for this. It is purely friends, family and the trucking community as a whole banding together to help provide for Johnny’s family in this difficult time. A sincere thank you from myself and his mates.”

Mr Stubbs’ boss at Membrey’s Transport and Crane Hire, Craig Membrey, paid tribute to the “loved and valued” member of his team.

“Hardworking, loyal, loveable family man – all words to describe one of the good ones we lost,” Mr Membrey wrote in a Facebook post.

“You will be so missed. Your shift is over, driver. Forever a hero in our eyes. Love and thoughts are with Stubbsy’s beautiful young family.”

There have been three crashes in the past six months related to the level crossing and in 2018 the Victorian Government declared it one of the most dangerous in the state.

Two years later, a bus was hit by a freight train in eerily similar circumstances when the driver was unable to reverse off the track.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and National Rail Safety Regulator have both launched investigations into this week’s incident.

In a statement, Victoria Police urged anyone with dashcam or CCTV footage of the accident to come forward.

“The circumstances surrounding the crash are yet to be determined at this stage,” a spokesperson said.

“[After the crash], passengers from the V/Line train were evacuated. No one else was injured during the incident.”

Across the year, 280 lives have been lost on Victorian roads, up sharply from last year’s toll of 232.

The Transport Workers Union said Mr Stubbs’ death marks the 51st truck driver death on Australian roads this year.

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