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On This Day

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By Rose Crompton

Before I tell you about the tragedy that unfolded in the early hours of14th July, I must say that Mark embedded so many loving memories, precious moments that will live with me forever.  I am so blessed to have met such a wonderful, caring man who taught me so much. We shared so much and had many plans to look forward to.  

We spent the whole day together with our daughter’s on July 13th, doing various errands around Whyalla.  We caught up with so many of our dear friends, which he paid out as normal.  My mum was also up from Adelaide as we (Mum, Kayla, Leanne and I) were going to Ceduna to see our eldest daughter, Melissa, play in the combined netball team.  Mark even programmed his GPS for the hotel that we were staying in and where the netball courts were located.   That night before he went to bed he showed me how to work his GPS and gave me his CDMA phone to use whilst in Ceduna so we could keep in contact.

On the 14th July, Mark was rostered on for the 5am service at Premier Roadliners from Whyalla to Adelaide.  He woke up about 3.00am and got himself organised as normal, wearing his uniform with pride with loads and loads of after shave.  I could hear him in the kitchen rattling plates whilst getting himself some breakfast.  Mark then, like all departures, came back into the bedroom, gave me a kiss, cuddle, said “I Love You” and wished us a safe journey to Ceduna.

Little did I know that this would be the last time that I would speak to my husband and tell him how much I love him.  I dozed off back to sleep, to be woken up by my daughter to say that a police officer is at the door.  The Officer asked Leanne to pop back into her room, whilst speaking to me.

The Police Officer asked me to sit down.  My mind was wondering what was going on.  “What’s happened?” I asked.  She proceeded to tell me that Mark was in a bad accident.  “Is he hurt?”  “Where is he?”  She continued on to tell me that my husband had died, whilst changing a tyre alone on the coach.  Passenger’s raised the alarm, when they discovered him beneath the bus, but he had gone.  I stood in disbelief, screaming and falling to the ground as my worst nightmare had just begun.  

The girls could hear me crying. They came running out to find me being comforted by my mother and the Police Officer.  It’s the hardest words that I’ve ever had to tell our girls. We comforted each other, sobbing in disbelief as the phone started to ring constantly.  

When we arrived at the hospital, Melissa, Kayla, Leanne and I went in first.  The girls kissed him and went back out into the corridor to be comforted by their grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins.

 I spoke to him and stroked his hair.  I didn’t want to leave him. I just looked at him telling him, "I love you Mark". I remember wanting to take him home.  I didn't want to leave him there alone, but I was led to the car and driven home.

We had so many plans and dreams to fulfil.  

Melissa, Kayla and Leanne lost a wonderful, proud and loving dad.

I lost my best friend, soul mate and husband that day.