Clare Merriam, HR manager at WA mining company Gold Fields, killed in Mount Gambier car crash


‘Bright and bubbly’ mining worker is killed in horror crash with a logging truck that’s left her son, 8, fighting for life

  • HR manager Clare Merriam was killed in a collision with a logging truck in SA 
  • Also in the car were her partner and his three kids with one left fighting for life 
  • Ms Merriam’s neighbour described her as ‘kind, friendly and energetic’

A woman tragically killed in a horrific car crash with a logging truck on a country highway has been identified as a ‘bright and bubbly’ human resources manager. 

Clare Merriam, 38, from Western Australia and her partner Michael Place, 36, had travelled to Victoria to see his three children and were driving to Mount Gambier, across the South Australian border on Friday afternoon when they were involved in the crash. 

Ms Merriam, who was behind the wheel, sadly died at the scene and Mr Place’s eight-year-old son in the back seat suffered serious injuries and was airlifted 450km to Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital. 

Mr Place, who was sitting in the passenger seat, his other son, aged 6, and his daughter, aged 4, were also injured. 

Clare Merriam

Michael Place

‘Kind and energetic’ mining HR worker Clare Merriam (left) was sadly killed in a collision on Friday near Mt Gambier while her partner Michael Place (right) in the passenger seat was injured 

An eight-year-old boy in the back seat was airlifted to hospital (left, emergency helicopter) while another boy, 6, and girl, 4, seated in the rear of the car were taken to the local hospital with minor injuries

An eight-year-old boy in the back seat was airlifted to hospital (left, emergency helicopter) while another boy, 6, and girl, 4, seated in the rear of the car were taken to the local hospital with minor injuries

Tributes have begun to flow for Ms Merriam, who worked at WA mining company Gold Fields as a people and engagement manager. 

‘Oh Clare. A life taken too soon, I miss you,’ one heartbroken friend wrote to social media. 

Pictures posted to social media show Ms Merriam at various social functions and events, including at the opening night for WA Opera’s production of Carmen and a fashion launch at Perth’s trendy Flour Factory.

The couple’s next-door-neighbour Andy Aple, who knew the couple for a few years after they moved into the Perth home, described Ms Merriam as ‘kind and energetic’.  

‘We’d see her walking her dog. She was very bright and bubbly, always keen for a chat,’ Mr Aple told The West Australian. 

She worked for a more than a decade at different mining companies, including at BHP and Fortescue, and briefly worked at St John of God Health Care.

It’s understood Mr Place is a FIFO worker, also employed in the mining industry.

Ms Merriam (pictured) had more than a decade of experience with mining companies such as BHP and Fortescue

Ms Merriam (pictured) had more than a decade of experience with mining companies such as BHP and Fortescue

Emergency services were called to the intersection at Donovans and Glenelg River roads in Wye, south of Mount Gambier in South Australia, where a car and logging truck had collided (pictured)

Emergency services were called to the intersection at Donovans and Glenelg River roads in Wye, south of Mount Gambier in South Australia, where a car and logging truck had collided (pictured)

Emergency services were called to Wye, south of Mount Gambier, on Friday at about 12.30pm after the truck and car collided. 

Major crash investigators were on the scene later that afternoon and the investigation is ongoing. 

Mr Place’s eight-year-old boy is understood to be fighting for life in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

The truck driver, 58, was not injured and is assisting police with inquiries into the collision. 

One heartbroken friend took to social media to pay tribute to the popular HR manager (pictured)

One heartbroken friend took to social media to pay tribute to the popular HR manager (pictured) 

The investigation into the collision is ongoing (pictured, emergency services at the scene of the accident)

The investigation into the collision is ongoing (pictured, emergency services at the scene of the accident)

Source

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