Rochester devastated after festival death

RELATED: Man charged after death at music festival


THE Rochester community has been devastated after a woman died while asleep in a tent at a music festival at a Rochester farm on Sunday. 

Police allege the incident occurred at 5.50am on Sunday. 

A man, 24, of Lake Bolac, was charged on Monday with culpable driving, dangerous driving resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render assistance, and driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Police said about 300 people attended the Australia Day music festival. 

Major Collision Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant David Newman said the man had been bailed to appear in Bendigo Magistrates' Court on January 31. 

Committee for Rochester chairman Peter Anderson said a family who was well-known in the community had put on the event for a number of years. 

"They are a lovely farming family," he said. 

"They would be devastated by this."

The family declined to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media.

Shamrock Hotel owner Ian Crouch said a Rochester man was the partner of the woman, 35, who died. 

"He comes into the pub often," he said. 

"I can just imagine how devastated he is.

"Nothing like this has never happened here before.

"We are all shocked."

Mr Crouch said a Shamrock Hotel staff member played in a band at the music festival. 

"Morale in Rochester has been low since Sunday," he said. 

Rochester Hotel staff member Amanda Conway said she was shocked. 

"I do not know anyone involved but it is saddening," she said. 

Shire of Campaspe councillor Leigh Wilson said the family who owned the farm did ‘‘a lot of work in the local district’’.

‘‘They are a well-respected family, and I can only imagine that they would be devastated by this,’’ Mr Wilson told Fairfax Media.

He said between 300 and 400 people attended the large gathering, but hesitated to call it a ‘‘festival’’, because it was not advertised publicly.

Paramedics were called to the property on Bonn Road about 9am but the 35-year-old from Yarraville was dead by the time they arrived.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppers.com.au

- With The Age and AAP

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