Heartbroken friends and neighbours say the brother of supermodel Megan Gale never got over witnessing the horrific workplace incident that killed his mate.
The week long search for Jason Gale, 49, ended on Tuesday afternoon after his body was found near his silver Honda CR-V in bushland south-east of Perth.
Police aren’t treating his death as suspicious.
Friends said Mr Gale had been struggling with the death of his beloved dog Badge and remained haunted by a tragic industrial incident that killed a colleague.
Robert Cunico, 60, was struck and killed by a burst pipe at Perth’s Woodman Point waste water treatment plant on April 20 2018 while working as a supervisor for contractor Civmec Construction and Engineering.
Megan Gale’s brother Jason (left) was found dead in bushland in Western Australia on Tuesday
‘He was taken too soon, in a way in which nobody should ever suffer,’ Mr Cunico’s son Scott wrote on an online fundraising page at the time.
‘Nobody should ever go to work and not return home safely.’
Mr Gale was also working at the site that day as an industrial mechanic and witnessed his mate’s horrific death.
Mr Cunico’s devastated widow thanked those who tried to save her husband’s life, including Mr Gale.
‘A huge thanks to Peter, Chris, Andrew, Jason, Dave who I have since found out were there with Rob in his time of need,’ Debby Cunico wrote on Facebook at the time.
‘They all stayed with him the entire time holding him and comforting him.
‘At least we can take comfort in knowing that Rob did not pass alone you are all legends for this we will be for ever grateful to you.
‘There are no words that will ever be enough to express our love for you and for what you did.’
Jason Gale was haunted by the tragic death of mate and colleague Robert Cunico (pictured)
Debra and her daughter Ashlea have since become outspoken advocates calling for industrial manslaughter laws to be introduced in Western Australia.
The pair recently addressed a parliamentary inquiry examining proposed laws which would see individuals could face up to $5 million in fines and 20 years jail if found responsible for causing a death in a workplace.
‘He was tragically killed in a workplace incident that should never, ever have occurred,’ Ashlea told a WorkSafe inquiry in March 2019.
‘It is extremely difficult to put into words how much our lives have changed. We are now lifelong members of a club you never want to join. ‘
‘We have suffered an unimaginable loss. No‐one should ever endure the pain and suffering we have been subjected to because of the lack of safety and sense of a workplace.
Her mother added: ‘I just think there needs to be more awareness. People just do not seem to be aware of the scope of these incidents that are occurring.
‘People just seem to accept that you go to work, and if you die, they do not seem to bat an eyelid. There are just way too many deaths in Australia every year.’
A neighbour of Mr Gale said Jason would regularly visit Mr Cunico’s grave.
Robert Cunico’s widow Debby (pictured with her late husband) was among the worried friends who publicly appealed for everyone to keep an eye for Jason Gale last week
‘He didn’t go into any details about how he lost his friend and what he witnessed … he kept it all inside of him,’ the neighbour told The West Australian.
‘I only found out about that after he disappeared. I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.’
Mr Gale was remembered as a ‘really nice guy’ and ‘very genuine bloke’.
‘He once told me,’I think I’ve hit the jackpot moving near you people.’ He was very happy living here,’ the neighbour said.
Ms Cunico was among the many concerned friends who urged everyone to keep an eye for Mr Gale during the week long search following his disappearance.
‘Jason is still missing! Please keep a look out for him especially in areas he often visits,’ she posted on Facebook four days ago.
Mr Gale, 49, was last seen on July 14 buying petrol and water at the Popanyinning General Store 160km south-east from his Perth home.
‘A search of the area was commenced and the body of a deceased person, believed to be Mr Gale, was located,’ a police statement said.
The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
A security camera still showing Mr Gale and his car in Pingelly, where he picked up water and petrol about 9.40am last Tuesday, in Pingelly, south-east of Fremantle
Shattered friends have posted heartbreaking tributes following the tragic news about Mr Gale.
‘Jason was a great man and will never be forgotten,’ Jarrod Tate wrote.
Lea Wynter added: ‘Sleep easy Galey … Thoughts to Megan and family and friends.’
Family, friends and police had been desperately searching for the ‘very private’ sibling of one of Australia’s most famous women.
Mr Gale lived on his own and was known for ‘going bush’ but friend Belinda Murray said he had never disappeared before.
‘He hasn’t been the same since witnessing the death of a co-worker a few years ago, then the death of his beloved Dobermann (dog), Badge on top of that,’ she said.
Ms Murray posted on Facebook: ‘Our lovely friend has gone missing. A gentle, kind and very private man who wouldn’t hurt anyone or anything has just disappeared, if anyone see’s him could you please contact the police or us…keep him talking, he loves all nature and animals.’
Mr Gale’s famous sister lives in Melbourne with her family and thanked everyone who had assisted during the search.
‘They (the Gale family) thank everyone for their support especially Jason’s neighbours, close friends and work colleagues who have been assisting,’ manager Lara Messenger said.
Family, friends and police had been desperately searching for the ‘very private’ sibling of one of Australia’s most famous women, Megan Gale (pictured)
A still of Jason Gale’s 1999 silver-coloured Honda CR-V station sedan, with plates 1BOI107 when he was last seen a week ago
Mr Gale was last seen about 9.40am on July 14 in Pingelly.
Owner of Popanyinning General Store, Stan Maughan told The West Australian Mr Gale filled up his vehicle and entered the store about ten minutes before 10am.
‘He got one bottle of water. It was $50 worth of fuel and $3 for the water. He was doing a bit of fidgeting there while he was waiting for me,’ the store owner said.
‘He was stretching and walking around but a lot of people do that. He was quite cool.’
Mr Maughan described Mr Gale’s clothing as ‘ordinary civvies’ and said he wasn’t wearing anything too ‘flash’.
Mr Gale did not talk to any of the other customers in the store during his two-to-three minute stop.
‘Then he just casually went out, hopped in his car and drove north,’ he said.
Jason Gale, 49, was last seen at about 9.40am on Tuesday July 14 buying water and petrol during a stop in Pingelly, some 160km south-east from his Perth home
Ms Gale, 44, who is engaged to former AFL star Shaun Hampson, grew up in Perth with her two older brothers and parents.
Her older brother’s death comes almost six years after they lost their father Alan to lung cancer.
Ms Gale has modelled in a string of high profile fashion magazines including Marie Claire, Vogue Italia, Cosmopolitan and GQ.
Her career started at the ripe age of 18 after winning a modelling competition in her hometown.
In 1999, she featured in a series of ads for Italian telecommunications company Omnitel – leading to her European success.
She has starred as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model along with hosting Project Runway Australia.
Ms Gale has also played roles in Australian movies such as I Love You Too, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Water Diviner featuring Russell Crowe. She is a mother to son River, five, and daughter Rosie, two.
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Megan Gale (pictured, right, with fiancee Shaun Hampson) grew up in Perth with her two older brothers and parents