Second blow for grieving community

THE driver of the cattle truck which struck and killed teenager Anna Disher outside her Kootingal home has died of a heart attack.

Fifteen-year-old Anna was riding pillion on her father’s motorbike when the pair were hit on May 1, just outside the driveway to their home. Graeme Pengelly, who was driving the truck, had been suffering severe stress since the accident. The 62-year-old had appeared in Tamworth Local Court only last week charged with negligent driving causing death and negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm.

He was undergoing tests at a Sydney hospital when he suffered a sudden heart attack on Wednesday night.

Mr Pengelly was driving along Sandy Rd when he collided with the rear of Paul Disher’s motorbike as it turned right into his property.

Mr Disher and his daughter were thrown from the motorbike, and Anna died at the scene from the injuries she sustained. Mr Disher sustained a fractured leg and lacerations.

Anna’s death stunned the tight-knit community at Kootingal and neighbouring Nemingha, where the family runs their business, Disher’s Fencing.

Anna was a budding musician who had made her busking debut at this year’s Country Music Festival and, within days of her death, the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music set up a scholarship in her name. Mr Pengelly’s death is a further blow to the community.

Oxley Local Area Command crash investigation officers are now preparing a report for the coroner.

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