The families of two childhood mates who died when their car veered off a freeway at Altona North before Christmas are raising money for a road trauma charity in a bid to make some good of the tragedy.
Jason Gilham and Brad Dobney, both 27, had just been to dinner with friends in Caroline Springs and were driving on the Western Ring Road near the Geelong-bound Princes Freeway off-ramp when their vehicle became airborne and sank in a wetland on December 15.
The pair couldn’t get out of the submerged car and police say they died holding each other.
Their families have organised what they hope will be the first of many ‘Gillo/Nobbers Cup’ charity cricket matches at Williamstown Cricket Ground this month to raise money for Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.
The two men had lived in Williamstown for most of their lives.
Mr Gilham had just bought a house with his girlfriend in Hoppers Crossing, while Mr Dobney had recently moved to Sunshine.
Mr Gilham played for Williamstown Cricket Club while Mr Dobney played for St John’s Cricket Club at Williamstown North and had been a coach with the Wyndham All Abilities Football and Cricket Club.
Mr Gilham’s brother Brad said the match was aimed at raising awareness and to “do a little bit of good out of an unfortunate situation”.
“We’re trying to get as many people as we can there to try and spread the message and obviously the more people that are there, the more money we can raise as well,” he said.
Mr Gilham’s mother Leasa Gibson said the charity match to help others was in keeping with Jason’s spirit.
“He was just an amazing young man, always out to help everybody else, always helping other people, always put other people before himself.”
Money is also being raised through selling Drive With Jason wristbands, with many local businesses supporting the cause.
The Gillo/Nobbers Cup cricket match, hosted by Williamstown Cricket Club and St John’s Cricket Club, will be held at the Williamstown Cricket Ground on Sunday, January 27 at 2pm, with a barbecue and festivities from 1pm. Admission is by gold coin donation. Wristbands will be on sale for $5. All proceeds go to Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.
Donations can also be made to the Drive With Jason fund. Anyone wanting to offer sponsorship or be involved in fundraising should email firstname.lastname@example.org