FAMILY MAN: The tragic death of Yorklea farmer Shane Rutherford has left his partner Alison and their four children without an income. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the family.
FAMILY MAN: The tragic death of Yorklea farmer Shane Rutherford has left his partner Alison and their four children without an income. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the family. contributed

Family 'devastated, heartbroken' over father's death

FINDING her soul mate Shane Rutherford desperately clinging to life after a farm accident at Yorklea this month has devastated Alison Bienke.

The mother-of-four said when she saw the 34-year-old father of her children lying almost lifeless after an accident involving a forklift on July 14, she called triple-0 for immediate assistance.

"I was performing CPR while we were waiting for emergency services," Ms Bienke said.

"I was trying to save my loved one, my soul mate, who I'd do anything for."

Despite the best efforts of Ms Bienke and paramedics, Mr Rutherford could not be revived.

A former Goonellabah Public School student, Mr Rutherford's family moved from Lismore to Boronia Heights, a suburb of Logan City in Queensland.

Ms Bienke said it was there they first met and before long, Mr Rutherford moved back to the Northern Rivers to be closer to her.

"Shane was the sort of person if anyone needed a hand he was there to help," she said.

"We worked on the P&C together. I was the president and he was the vice-president, and he always helped out at the school with fetes and mother and father's day stalls.

"He coached the kids soccer team ... he was just a wonderful person."

Since the death of the well-known farmer, the Casino community has rallied in support of the family and Ms Bienke's brother Justin set up a GoFundMe page to raise money.

"The support from the local community has been brilliant," Ms Bienke said.

As Mr Rutherford was the sole provider for the family, Ms Bienke has been left with a mortgage and four children to raise, without an income.

"I'm devastated, I'm heartbroken. I've lost my soul mate," Ms Bienke said.

"We lived for each other."

Can you help?

  • Any donations of non-perishable food or money for the family can be made at the Casino Baptist preschool on Canterbury St
  • Cash donations can be deposited at the Summerland Credit Union - bsb-728 728, account 22311485 - or at https://www.gofundme.com/helpalison-kids

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