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DAIMLER Truck and Bus public affairs senior manager and former motoring journalist and publisher Geoffrey Paradise died in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital today, six days after suffering head injuries in a head-on collision between his car and a school bus on the New South Wales central coast.

The father of three and veteran of more than 40 years in the industry passed away peacefully at 11.15am after life support was switched off. He was surrounded by his family, including wife Jacqui and children Nick, Amy and Maddy.

Mr Paradise, aged in his early 60s, had been kept in an induced coma since being flown by helicopter to the hospital for emergency surgery after being cut from his Mercedes-Benz E-Class company car following the crash on a narrow road in Matcham, near Terrigal, last Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened near his home and office on Oak Road, near a single-lane bridge. Two school children and the bus driver on the school bus escaped injury in the crash.

The force of the impact was taken on the driver’s side of the car, and emergency crews had to cut the roof from the car to free Mr Paradise, who reportedly had just left his home at Matcham.

Mr Paradise had been with Daimler Truck and Bus only five months, managing the publicity for Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus, Freightliner Trucks and Fuso Truck and Bus.

Previously, he was editor-in-chief and publisher of heavy vehicle industry magazines Transport and Trucking Today and Coach and Bus for 15 years. As well, he was commercial vehicle writer for Fairfax Publishing’s Drive.

As founding editor of Street Machine, Fast Fours and Rotaries and Super Ford, he is also well known in the hot rod fraternity. He also did a stint on possibly the most famous of all modified vehicle magazines, Hot Rod, in the United States.

“The Big Fella” was highly regarded in the motoring industry, respected for his knowledge and commitment, as well as his gruff sense of humour.

He joined Daimler last year in a late career change after selling off his commercial vehicle magazines. He frequently told his friends how much he was enjoying his new role.

Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific issued a statement offering condolences to the Paradise family and acknowledging Mr Paradise’s contribution to the industry.

“Geoff had an infectious passion for all things automotive and his loss will be significant to all in the industry,” it said.

Mercedes’ senior manager of public relations, product corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that Mr Paradise was a larger than life character who was full of passion.

“He was a very special guy and I will miss him,” he said.

By Ron Hammerton

Not forgotten: Motoring industry identity Geoff Paradise will be missed after a career spanning more than 40 years.

Not forgotten: Motoring industry identity Geoff Paradise will be missed after a career spanning more than 40 years.

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