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Australia 'My hero, a best mate': Tributes flow for WA farmer killed in head-on South West crash

21:35  17 january  2020
21:35  17 january  2020 Source:   watoday.com.au

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a man sitting at a table in a restaurant: Pemberton businessman and potato farmer Tom Fox.© Supplied. Pemberton businessman and potato farmer Tom Fox. The sons of a pioneering WA businessman killed in a horror head-on crash in WA's South West overnight have described their father as a "hero" and a "family man" who knew Bussell Highway "like the back of his hand".

On Thursday evening, Tom Fox was driving near Capel along the main thoroughfare when his truck was struck by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.

The crash caused Mr Fox's semi-trailer to roll off the road, killing the 71-year-old, who was on his way to Yarloop to run a delivery for the family's farming business.

The driver of the other car, 55-year-old Marybrook man Glenn William Bailey, was taken to Busselton Health Campus with minor injuries.

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The news comes less than a week after Eduardo Hernandes Pereira Rodrigues, 41, and Danielle Bileski de Mello Pimental, 37, were killed in a car rollover less than 70 kilometres north of Capel, leaving their four children orphaned.

Less than 24 hours after Mr Fox's death, tributes have flowed for the third-generation Pemberton farmer known for building up the country’s largest seed potato producer.

"Today has been the hardest day imaginable, I keep looking at my phone just waiting for you to call to tell me what time you’ll be at the farm and to have everything ready.... knowing that the call will never come breaks my heart," Mr Fox's son Patrick said.

"Being able to work every day with you was the greatest privilege imaginable.

"You were my hero, my teacher, my dad and a best mate.

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"If I can end up half the man, father and husband you were I’ve done alright."

Brother Daniel Fox said the crash was a tragedy that had left "a gaping hole" in the family.

"Best dad anyone could hope for, best husband to mum and the grandkids are all going to miss him... it's just a bloody tragedy," he said.

"He was doing the right thing on the road and for this to happen it's just a shock.

"He loved what he was doing, he loved the truck, he loved the farm, he loved his family he was a good family man. No one like that can be replaced, he was one in a million."

Glenn William Bailey faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Friday morning, charged with dangerous driving occasioning death.

The 55-year-old will remain behind bars after failing to source the funds to pay for his $10,000 bail.

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