Brett Bowley with the hot rod that he loved.
Brett Bowley with the hot rod that he loved. Craig Sadler

Tributes flow for Murwillumbah man

THE Murwillumbah business community is in shock after the death of a "master craftsman".

Brett Bowley owned Brett's Auto Upholstery and was an active member of the business community and supporter of the Speed on Tweed Street car race.

Mr Bowley was killed when his hot rod was involved in a five-car accident at Maclean on Saturday.

Murwillumbah Mowers and Chainsaw owner Trevor Cains was a friend and fellow business owner in Murwillumbah.

The two grew up together and were neighbours.

"I was shocked when I heard," Mr Cains said.

"He's probably one of the most talented tradies that I have ever known, and I knew a few tradies.

"A lot of people came to him and he was best at restoring the old cars.

"I used to take in mower seats there rather then get new ones.

"He had that certain flare for what he did and he was a real family man."

Mr Cain said his friend's other great love was the hot rod.

"As we grew up he had a love for hot rods and I had a love of fishing," he said.

"Every time we got together he would talk about that hot rod."

Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce president Toni Zuschke said Mr Bowley was a master craftsman.

"He was a great supporter of Speed on Tweed," Ms Zuschke said.

"This absolutely shocked the business community.

"When you lose someone integral to the community that's when you realise that none of us are immune.

"His wife worked beside him every day.

"It was a family business, 80% of the businesses in Murwillumbah are family concerns and this tragedy is devastating."

His wife, Cindy Bowley, was a passenger in the hot rod on Saturday and was taken to Maclean District Hospital after the accident but was discharged a few hours later.

The five-car accident occurred on the Pacific Highway at Maclean about 9.55am.

A Toyota Kluger driven by an 18-year-old man was travelling north when it collided with Mr Bowley's hot rod which was towing a trailer.

The drivers of the four other cars involved in the chain-reaction accident were not injured.

NSW Police said the investigation into the accident was continuing and no one had been charged.

A police spokesman said the investigation could take some time with the number of people involved and the interviews that needed to be done.

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