Community grieves

IN SHOCK: The town of Rolleston is in shock after the death of a 39-year-old father in a helicopter crash. cont
IN SHOCK: The town of Rolleston is in shock after the death of a 39-year-old father in a helicopter crash. cont RACQ Capricorn Rescue Service

TRAGIC LOSS: Russell Parker, with his wife Tracey. cont File image.

IT was a tragic first birthday yesterday for the youngest of Russell Parker’s four daughters.

As the Parker family grieved the sudden and tragic loss of Russell, 39, who died in a helicopter crash while mustering near Rolleston on Tuesday, his youngest daughter turned one.

Russell was remembered as a highly respected and well-loved man, whose death has shocked the community of Rolleston.

Just what caused his Bell Robinson R22 helicopter to crash on a private property near Mt Ogg on Tuesday is unclear.

Russell was the only person on board.

Police retrieved his body from the crash scene early Wednesday morning.

“He really was a bit of a legend,” his mother Cecilia said in a short statement.

“Russell was loved by everyone.”

Russell’s family has a long association with the area running cattle properties.

Both Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire and local councillor Ross Rolfe said he was well-respected.

“This is a big shock to Russell’s family, friends and the community in general,” Cr Maguire said.

“He was a young man with a young family. This is all very sad.”

On Tuesday, Russell’s family lost contact with him about 10am. They went to search on horseback.

Authorities found the wreckage of the helicopter late in the afternoon. A report is being prepared for the coroner.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been informed of the crash.

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