THE Mulwala woman killed in a car crash near Wangaratta on Monday had just returned from a holiday in Bali.
Mary Hidson, 66, was driving home from the Melbourne airport with her husband, William, 69, after a holiday with friends.
She died instantly when her car left the Wangaratta-Yarrawonga Road, ran up an embankment and hit a tree stump about 3.30pm.
Mr Hidson has serious but non life-threatening injuries and is in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The tragedy shocked Mulwala’s golfing fraternity. Mrs Hidson and her husband became members of the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort after moving from Melbourne 14 years ago.
Pro shop worker Julie Kirchen said she had played golf with Mrs Hidson for many years.
“We are all in a state of shock,” she said.
“She played pennant for the club for several years and had a handicap of 16.
“She got along with everyone and was an outgoing and vivacious woman.”
A Mulwala friend, Marilyn Keane, said Mrs Hidson would be dearly missed.
“She’s a close friend and there’s a group of 10 of us who regularly catch up and play pennant,” she said.
“We have also played tournaments around the North East,” she said.
“We were all going to go to Sydney in six weeks time to celebrate a birthday.”
Mrs Keane said the couple had just been to Bali with friends.
“I heard they had a wonderful time,” she said. “They were on their way home but they never made it.”
The couple have a daughter in Melbourne and a son in Adelaide.
They also have three grandchildren.
Wangaratta’s Sen-Sgt Darren Wittingslow said police were still investigating what had caused the car to leave the road.
“It’s a good stretch of road — there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.
“We will be looking at factors such as fatigue, speed and mechanical faults.”
A funeral date for Mrs Hidson is still to be confirmed.