DEVASTATED: Barry and Gail Bussell at the memorial for their son Terry, who was killed in 2010. Picture: Ryan OslandSOURCE: NEWCASTLE HERALD
EVERY Saturday for nearly four years, Barry Bussell’s eyes have sprung open at 4.50am – the same day of the week and the exact same time his only son was hit by a truck and left for dead as he walked home.
Barry’s wife, Gail, can still find herself sitting on the front step of their Maryland home waiting for her boy to walk up the driveway. Their endless nightmare has nearly cost Barry his life, put strain on a rock-solid marriage and changed the lives of their three daughters forever.
And the fact that the callous driver of the rigid truck, which came over a rise on George Booth Drive near Edgeworth and killed 38-year-old Terry Bussell, remains free because they failed to stop only adds to their heartache.
“He was my world,” Gail Bussell said.
“Our chain has broken and it can’t be fixed.
“The person who did this would definitely know they hit him, and they dragged him more than 100 metres.
“The police said when the truck stopped, Terry has fallen off, and they have just taken off again.”
Terry Bussell was walking home from a party when he was struck by the truck, believed to have been a white Pantec-type vehicle, just before 5am on July 10, 2010.
Despite a large police investigation, and the discovery of some grainy closed-circuit television footage of the suspect truck driving past an Edgeworth service station and the Edgeworth Tavern moments after it had struck and killed the mine contractor, the driver has still not been identified.
But police and the Bussell family believe the driver would have had to have confided in somebody, and they are now also pleading with that person. As time passes, relationships can sour or change. And they are hoping that person has the conscience to come forward.
GRAINY: The suspect Pantech truck is in the back of this CCTV footage, not under the service station lights.
“Man up and admit what you have done,” Barry Bussell said.
“It is so disappointing that someone knows and has not come forward.
“I don’t think whoever has done it could live with themselves and not say something.
“Someone else has got to know.”
The Bussells have agreed to go public because they wish to tell the person who can identify the driver what they have had to go through.
Barry Bussell was only about an hour away from dying after admitting to giving up on life once he lost his best mate.
“In the end I just didn’t care,” Mr Bussell said.
“I just didn’t want to live, didn’t want to be here.
“My daughter said wake up to yourself, you still have three daughters and grandchildren.
“I went to hospital and lost 21 kilos in four days.”
Gail Bussell added: “I couldn’t cry for 12 months. It just wouldn’t come out.”
Every member of the family has trigger points that now bring back the tears.
For Barry Bussell, it is the noise of trucks.
“For me it is a work uniform. His hi-visibility orange work uniform, and they are everywhere.”
One of their daughters, Tanya Bussell, said her family needed to know who did it and how it happened.
“I think something would be lifted off our shoulders [if the driver was charged] because at least they had been caught,” she said.
“They don’t deserve to be out there enjoying their life.
“You have killed someone.
“To me it is murder now. If you had stopped it would have possibly been the case of an accident.
“But you have left the scene and four years have passed, you have allowed this to happen.”
Even now, Barry Bussell can not understand how someone could so callously drive away.
“You know yourself if you hit an animal, even if it is a dog or a cat, you stop, say what have I done here and move it,” Mr Bussell said.
“But this person has just left a person there. No one in their right mind could do something like that, I don’t care who they are.”
The case remains an open investigation with the Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit.
Any information can be forwarded to them on 4929 0999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000