MOGILLA man Bruce Douch died after being hit by a truck near Bemboka on Friday morning, June 19.
The 44-year-old, who was employed by Platinum Traffic Services, was walking along the Snowy Mountains Hwy from his home to get to work when he was hit by the truck at around 6.30am.
The accident occurred near to where he was to work.
Family friend Laura Carpenter of Bega knew Mr Douch all her life and said he was very close to her brother - they were “each other’s shadow”.
Ms Carpenter described him as a “true Aussie”, and a “really genuine, great guy”.
“My mum treated him as if he was one of the family,” she said.
“He was a truly fantastic and amazing person.”
In fact, Mr Douch was so close to Ms Carpenter’s family, she calls him the godfather to her son.
Mr Douch’s friend Jodie Forth said he was known to his mates as “Douchie” and was a “carefree and happy spirit”.
“[He] was always there if you needed someone and put everyone else first before himself,” Ms Forth said.
“He loved a joke and a laugh, and that was his personality down to a tee.
“Life was never serious with him, [he was] always seeing the happier side to things.”
Ms Forth said the way she will remember him will be with a smile on his face and a wild, red beard.
Mr Douch lived in High St, Bega with his mother until she relocated to a nursing home.
Afterwards, he moved to a property at Mogilla owned by Ms Carpenter’s family, where she said he “enjoyed the peace and quiet, living out of town”.
Prior to working at Platinum Traffic, he was a truck driver, employed by Star Track and did lots of odd jobs.
Ms Carpenter said Mr Douch had no children or partner, but still has family in the Bega Valley.
“He liked being a single man, and he always had a dog to keep him company,” she said.
After the accident, the Snowy Mountains Hwy was closed in both directions outside Bemboka for the day.
The male truck driver was uninjured and taken to Bega Hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.