The Griffith community is mourning the death of a devoted mum and much-loved nurse.
Siphatisiwe Ncube, better known as Pat, died tragically on Monday morning when the white Kia station wagon she was driving collided with a tree at Kamarah.
Her five-year-old son Jordan Chisale and a 24-year-old female friend from Griffith were passengers in the car and had to be airlifted to Canberra Hospital. They have both since been released with minor injuries.
The 39-year-old, who moved to Australia from Zimbabwe to start a new life in 2004, had been a nurse at Griffith Base Hospital for seven years. She became a naturalised Australian in 2010.
Jordan is an only child and his father does not live in Australia.
The St Patrick’s School community, where Jordan is in kindergarten, has paid tribute to a happy soul, whose beautiful smile could light up a room.
“This is a profoundly tragic accident that has deeply impacted on our school community,” Assistant principal Alan Wedesweiler said.
“Our immediate actions are to galvanise and gather together to pray, grieve and support one another.
“As a Catholic community, the outpouring of emotion and grief has been overwhelming for the students, staff and parents and also those who worked with Siphatisiwe. The prayers offered in the classes and those led by Fr Andrew Grace at this morning’s Ash Wednesday mass have been of great benefit for our community.”
Ms Ncube is remembered by devastated Griffith Base Hospital staff as a well-respected member of the intensive care unit, whose expertise, friendship and beautiful smile will be sadly missed.
“I was in awe of her commitment and bravery to travel to the other side of the world by herself to start a new life in Australia,” Director of nursing and midwifery Meredith Whittaker said.
“Pat quickly became an integral part of the staff at the hospital and the wider Griffith community.”
Griffith Police inspector Stuart Gair said Jordan was released from Canberra Hospital with minor injuries into the care of friends yesterday.
He said Ms Ncube’s brother has been located living in Bowral.
Circumstances of the crash are being examined and a brief is being prepared for the coroner.
Anyone with information about the accident is being urged to contact Griffith Police.