It is with sadness to report that Samara Johnson, 25, an approved picnic rider, has passed away after a motor vehicle accident yesterday (Sunday, 4 December 2017).
NSW Police confirmed in a release that the single vehicle crash happened on Gundagai Road at Eurongilly, 21km south-east of Junee, just before 2:30pm. It is understood the car left the road and smashed head-on into a tree before bursting into flames.
Samara’s partner, licensed racehorse trainer Gary Kirkup, was critically injured in the accident and was airlifted to Canberra Hospital where he still remains with severe abdominal injuries.
The passing of Samara Johnson is another tragic blow for the Canberra racing community, following the passing of track rider Riharna Thomson, also a close friend of Johnson’s, earlier in the year.
Counselling support has been arranged by Racing NSW to help assist participants during this time.
Canberra-based racing chaplain, Bob Prior, has visited the Canberra Race Club this morning. Grieving friends of Samara can contact Racing NSW counsellor, David Goldman, on 1300 88 7724.