‘Crushing’ support for young truck driver who lost both legs after horrific crash

There has been a huge outpouring of support for young South West Victoria lorry driver Michelle Pillar, who lost both her legs after a horrific crash last week.

The 25-year-old was trapped in her truck for 11 hours before medics and rescuers were forced to amputate her.

Ms Pillar was driving a cattle transporter when it rolled over and got stuck between a tree and a bridge in the Otways.

One of her legs had to be amputated below her knee at the scene to free her from the cab of the truck.

Later at the hospital, surgeons were forced to amputate his other leg to save his life.

“You can imagine, poor child, being stuck there, the stress it would have caused her at the time,” said her boss, Anthony Boyle of Boyle’s Livestock Transport.

Ms Pillar was on life support but was brought out of her induced coma this week.

While her employer has insurance and other commitments to her, numerous fundraising efforts have sprung up, including a donation box at Mortlake Roadhouse, a GoFundMe page, and donations of auction items including cattle and hay.

Collectively, over $100,000 has been raised to help Ms. Pillar in her recovery.

A donation box at Mortlake Roadhouse is one of many initiatives to raise money for Ms Pillar.(Provided: Mortlake Roadhouse)

People just wanna give

Dion Symons of the Mortlake Roadhouse took the initiative to coordinate the donations, after being approached by truckers Matthew Brown and Jason Keane.

“A couple of truckers wanted to do something but didn’t know how to go about it, so they asked me to do it from here at the truck stop,” he said.

Mr Symons said the local, national and even international response via social media has been overwhelming.

“It’s so touching, I don’t know Michelle personally but right now I feel like I know her brilliantly because I’ve heard so much about her.

“By all accounts, people tell me she’s a badass and will fight like hell.”

bank account details
The “Fight, Michelle” fund received a flood of donations.(Provided: Mortlake Roadhouse)

Mr Boyle said Ms Pillar had made a name for herself in the livestock transport industry.

“I was getting phone calls from people saying you can fire her anytime, she was wonderful with cattle and different things like that,” he said.

“If anyone wants to do it, I think she will, and we’ll be here to help as much as we can.”

Long way to go

Mr Boyle said Ms Pillar was heavily sedated but was recovering as well as could be expected.

“Her body is recovering well…and it’s just a matter of rest after all these operations for now and in time she will be able to rebuild and return to a normal form of life,” he said.

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