Groom involved in fatal crash that killed 10 wedding guests pays tribute to one of the victims

  • 05/07/2023
It's the first time the groom has spoken out since the incident.
It's the first time the groom has spoken out since the incident. Photo credit: Getty Images

The man who lost 10 friends in a bus crash on his wedding night three weeks ago, has spoken out for the first time.

Mitchell Gaffney spoke at his friend Zachary Bray's funeral in Sydney, one of 10 people who died in the crash near Greta in NSW's Hunter Valley on June 11, according to 7News.

The 29-year-old was remembered as a 'loveable larrikin' and an 'adored brother and son' who beat bowel cancer and was dedicated to raising awareness about the cancer.

The two men first met through playing football, and soon became friends off the field.

"Although you'll never get the chance to put the jumper on again, you'll always be there by our side," Gaffney said.

According to 7News Bray was referred to as 'Labrador' or 'Lab' by his football mates.

"They're pretty smart dogs," Gaffney said at the funeral.

"No matter what they do, they do it with that big goofy smile" 7News reported. 

"That was the first impression he made and it still holds true," he said.

Gaffney said Bray was the ultimate team player, who "had the ability to make everyone feel included".

"We will forever cherish the memories that we are lucky enough to hold together" 7News reported. 

Bray's family and friends gathered together to honour his life, with his girlfriend Georgie Copeland expressing her pain.

"My heart hurts, I can't deny it. But I know that it hurts deeply because it was deeply real," she said.