The 11 lives cut short in one of Victoria’s worst rail crashes have been remembered in a memorial service marking 10 years since the tragedy.
Family, friends and dignitaries including Premier Daniel Andrews have gathered in Kerang, the country town where seven adults and four children were killed when a semi-trailer smashed into a Swan Hill-to-Melbourne V-Line on June 5, 2007.
Another eight people were seriously injured.
Candles were lit and prayers said at Monday’s sombre service.
Vanessa Reid, granddaughter of victim Harold Claude Long, told reporters the tragedy “still haunts me every day” and she hasn’t been able to catch trains ever since.
Mr Long was pinned under luggage in the train carriage and had to have his leg partially amputated to be freed.
He died on the way to hospital in Melbourne.
“I went into severe denial when he passed. I just shut myself away, I didn’t want to believe it,” Ms Reid said.
“I still can’t believe it. Every time I see a level crossing I close my eyes because I’m scared it’s going to happen again.”
Safety at level crossings has improved since the crash, but Ms Reid said people still tried to cheat trains.
“They must stop, because there’s a lot of people on those trains and there’s a lot of people that can get hurt,” she said.
Truck driver Christian Scholl was charged with 11 counts of culpable driving over the deaths but acquitted by a Supreme Court jury in 2009.
A coronial inquest made 25 recommendations, including calling for improved signage and warnings for drivers approaching level crossings, and better co-ordination between emergency authorities.