Deborah Markey death: A Mother from Cobram died tragically in Strathmerton horror crash

One of the victims of the deadliest traffic accident in Victoria in more than ten years, Deborah Markey, was recalled as a lovely person and a proud mother. Debbie Markey, 62, a worker at a slaughterhouse, was remembered by family and friends after she died in a horrific accident on Thursday close to the NSW border. Let’s see about it in detail.


Deborah Markey death:

The horrifying crash that took place at Strathmerton in northern Victoria on Thursday claimed the lives of five individuals, including Deborah Markey, 62, of Cobram.

Around 2.20pm, Markey was driving four of her JBS slaughterhouse coworkers—all international—home in a Nissan Navara when a Mercedes struck her vehicle at the Labuan Road crossroads in Strathmerton. On the Murray Valley Highway, the Nissan was thrown into the path of a vehicle, instantly killing all five.

She was a “very proud mum” and a dedicated part of the Cobram community, according to Markey’s son Daniel.

He said in a statement,

“Her life has not been easy but she really found her purpose looking after these foreign nationals,” 

“[She was] a ridiculously fun, energetic person. She had time for everyone and she was way too forgiving. She was the life of the party at every event.”

Deborah Markey with her son Daniel Montero. (Facebook.)

Markey was a “very loving person” who loved profoundly for friends, family, and all animals, according to friend Paul Ukich, who spoke with Nine News.

“[It] was very unfortunate and terrible, but true to her form, she was looking after strangers … she’s paid the ultimate price.”

Other Victims:

The four foreign workers, three ladies and one guy, all in their 20s, were from Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively.

The mother of a 25-year-old Taiwanese man killed in the collision, Wang Chia Chen, and other grieving family members arrived in Melbourne on Sunday.

Chen, who was overwhelmed with emotion, said to Nine News that she was having a hard time accepting the death of her son and had no idea “how painful it was in the moment the tragedy happened.”

The automobile wreckage that claimed the lives of five individuals is removed from the site at the intersection of Labuan Road and Murray Valley Highway. (Ian Currie)


Police Statement:

The Nissan was “catastrophically” damaged in the crash, according to the police.

After confessing to being the Mercedes’ driver in a police interview, Christopher Dillon Joannidis, 29, of Melbourne’s east, was charged on Friday with five charges of reckless driving resulting in death. Joannidis, according to police, was stopped for speeding in Yarroweyah before the collision, which took place less than two kilometers away.

Police suspect the man was moving at 118 km/h in a 100 km/h zone, according to court records.

On Labuan Road, 29-year-old Christopher Dillon Joannidis was stopped for speeding in his white Mercedes Benz and given a fine.

It follows reports that the Joannidis accused of causing the tragedy may have had cannabis in his system at the time of the terrifying collision.

To ascertain if Mr. Joannidis had narcotics in his system, police will also analyse the blood sample they took from him in the hospital. After being stopped for three minutes, Mr. Joannidis reportedly ran a giveaway sign and ploughed into a Nissan Navara truck carrying five persons, all of whom were murdered instantaneously. In the Navara, a dog also died.

Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said,

“What we’ll be alleging is that he hasn’t given way, has hit the Navara, which has then spun back into the path of the oncoming B-double,” 

“I’ve seen the vision from the truck – it is horrific. It is catastrophic the damage that has been caused as a result of a simple collision that has ended with the loss of five lives.”

Mr. Joannidis, who is from Doncaster in north-eastern Melbourne, and his passenger were both injured in the crash but only had minor wounds; they were treated on the spot before being transferred to the hospital.

It is Victoria’s deadliest accident in 11 years. (Nine News)

Weir said that the destruction was so bad that the police had to enlist the help of disaster victim identification specialists and the force’s search and rescue squad to determine the number of fatalities. The police updated the death toll almost a day later because of this.

The horrifying accident happened as police pleaded with drivers to slow down ahead of Anzac Day on Tuesday, following a terrible week of traffic deaths that raised the yearly road toll to beyond 100.

Suspect Granted Bail:

According to records presented before Shepparton Magistrates Court on Friday, he reportedly gave a positive result for cannabis during a preliminary test. Mr. Joannidis received an infraction notice for driving 118 km/h in a 100 km/h zone while carrying a 20-year-old female passenger. He was allowed to depart at 2.18 p.m. when a follow-up test came back negative, according to the Herald Sun.

Christopher Dillon Joannidis (Nine News)

Following a brief court appearance on Friday, Joannidis was granted bail because he did not constitute an intolerable risk to the general public. Dash camera footage from the milk truck’s B-double is said to have shown the collision.

The magistrate said,

“Probably the worst thing you could do is … to drive a motor vehicle,” 

“You’re not to drive a motor vehicle under any circumstance.”

According to the ABC, Magistrate Simon Zebrowski issued him bail with stringent terms, including a driving prohibition. Mr. Joannidis cannot leave Victoria or the nation and must stay at his home address and surrendering up his passport.

Help the Investigation!

Anyone with information, dashcam footage, or witness accounts is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-333-TIPS.


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