Second person dies in days following fatal Avoca bus crash; 87-year-old Beaufort woman dies in hospital

A second passenger has died in hospital following a bus roll over near Moonambel last Saturday.

Investigators have been told the bus was travelling south along the Sunraysia Highway about 3.10pm on October 14.

The driver lost control of the vehicle which left the highway and rolled down an embankment.

Creswick woman Carmel Mitchell died at the scene.

A second passenger, an 87-year-old Beaufort woman, passed away in hospital yesterday morning.

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The woman who was tragically killed in a bus rollover near Avoca on Saturday has been confirmed as Mt Xavier bowler Carmel Mitchell.

The 71-year-old Creswick resident was one of 29 people aboard the bus which was making its way back to Ballarat from Mildura. 

Carmel Mitchell with husband Graeme

Carmel Mitchell with husband Graeme

Mt Xavier Bowling Club president Gerard Dooley said the entire association was in a state of “extreme sadness”.

“We’ve lost one of our members and half a dozen have spent time in hospital, so it’s an incredibly sad time for our club and for lawn bowls as a whole,” Mr Dooley said.  “Carmel was a very proactive participant and she had extremely strong organisational skills and was one of the key organisers of this trip.” 

Mrs Mitchell had served two stints as Mt Xavier ladies president and was club champion in 2011. 

She was also a prolific member of the Creswick Lions Club, serving as president, secretary and treasurer over more than 30 years of involvement. 

Creswick Lions Club secretary Pat Tacey described Mrs Mitchell as a “wholehearted contributor to everything she did”.

“People are in a state of disbelief that this could happen to someone who has been an integral part of our community for 40 years,” Mr Tacey said.  “She was always friendly and approachable and was a real giver to the community.” 

Mrs Mitchell was also well known throughout the community for running Mitch’s clothing store in Creswick for more than 20 years. 

Speaking Fairfax Media, Mr Mitchell said the pair had been married for 48 years. 

"We are pretty shattered at the moment," he said.  "She had a love of bowls. She organised this trip up to Mildura for the last 10 years. They have gone every year, had wonderful times and this has bloody happened and absolutely destroyed us."

"She was a lovely, outgoing person and had a big group of good friends. She was a pretty popular person."

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Amos said Mr Mitchell had “ probably lost the single most important thing in his life aside from his children”. 

As a sign of respect, Ballarat District Bowls Division called off all competitions scheduled for Monday.  

The division was set to hold a meeting on Sunday night to discuss ways to support the Ballarat bowling community. 

Mrs Mitchell leaves behind three children and seven grandchildren. 

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Amos said Mr Mitchell had “ probably lost the single most important thing in his life aside from his children”. 

As a sign of respect, Ballarat District Bowls Division called off all competitions scheduled for Monday.  

The division was set to hold a meeting on Sunday night to discuss ways to support the Ballarat bowling community. 

Mrs Mitchell leaves behind three children and seven grandchildren.