Samoan Seasonal Worker and Loving Father of Three identified as Victim of Minibus Crash in Victoria

"Siu is a very kind person and we don’t know how to forget him.."


A Samoan seasonal farmworker and “loving father of three” has been identified as one of two people killed in a minibus crash in Victoria Australia on Tuesday morning.

Siu Manu died when the minibus he was travelling in crashed on the Calder Hwy in Carwarp, 30km south of Mildura, in Victoria’s far North West.

Police say the bus is believed to have been overtaking another vehicle when the driver lost control and hit a tree.

Two passengers died at the scene and nine people were injured in the accident.

Siu’s sister, Tuuinaifo Tu’ua Manu says her brother was one of eight siblings and they had yet to break the news to their elderly mother.

“Siu is a very kind person and we don’t know how to forget him,” she said.

“He’s the first sibling we lost,” Tuuinaifo said.

“It’s so hard for us and especially his wife and three kids and our elderly mother, who still did not know until now that her beloved son passed away..

Photos: Tuuinaifo Tu’ua Manu.

“Rest in peace, my dear brother.”

Manu had travelled to Australia for seasonal work, and this was his second year in Australia.

“He is the one who has been taking care of our elderly mother before he leaves for seasonal work,” Tuuinaifo said.

The male bus driver and one passenger were hospitalised with critical injuries, while three other passengers suffered serious injuries.

Two men died at the scene and nine other people were injured when the minibus crashed into a tree in northwest Victoria. Credit: 7NEWS

Another four passengers were taken to Mildura Base Hospital for observation.

Police confirmed all passengers were employed as seasonal workers at nearby farms, and many of them were from Samoa.

Victoria Police Sergeant Mark McDonald said it is difficult to see how the accident could have happened and they are calling for any witnesses to come forward.

“Obviously, the weather’s fine, road conditions appear to be quite good, and there’s no indication there were any animals or anything like that involved.”

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“Anyone with information is urged to contact police as investigations continue.”

Samoa’s Minister of Finance and Minister for Seasonal Workers says a full report will be issued once more information has been gathered by his office.

In November 2023, four seasonal workers died in a tragic car crash in Victoria when the vehicle they were travelling in ploughed into a tree and burst into flames near Mansfield, 220km north-east of Melbourne.