A camper killed in a freak accident by a large tree branch in Healesville is being remembered as a “great bloke” with a “big heart”.
Ben Murphy, 44, was crushed to death by a 6.1m long tree branch that fell on his tent while he was staying at the Big 4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park on Saturday morning.
Friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to a “great man” who was taken away too soon.
Marc Rogers said Mr Murphy was “a character full of life” and a great mate from their navy days.
“You lived so large and everyone who knew you was touched by your gentle, kind nature,” Michelle Freeman said.
“You had a big heart and you supported your children so beautifully.”
Another friend, Liam Dungan, posted that Mr Murphy’s death had “hit way too close to home”.
“Ben you were a top bloke and never deserved to go out this way – fly high champion,” he said.
Scoresby Football and Netball Club has also paid tribute to Mr Murphy who they said was a big part of the club’s junior program.
“A well loved great bloke,” the club posted on Facebook.
“We pass our sincere condolences to his loving family and many friends.”
Police said Mr Murphy was the only occupant of the tent, and no one else was injured when the branch fell just before 6am.
Emergency services raced to the Don Road park about 50km northeast of the CBD, but Mr Murphy tragically died at the scene.
It’s not yet known what caused the tree branch to fall, but there were no strong winds or rain reported in the area at the time.
A State Emergency Service spokesperson said the branch was 6.1m long and 30cm in diameter.
SES volunteers assisted Ambulance Victoria paramedics with extricating Mr Murphy’s body.
“Our volunteers cut up and removed the sizeable branch and cleared the scene. They will be offered additional support by the agency,” the spokesperson said.
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
WorkSafe has also opened an investigation into the incident.