Housemate ‘haunted’ by death of friends in crash
New details have emerged outlining how four "beautiful kids" were spending their day in the lead-up to a horror crash that claimed their lives on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
University students Lochlan Parker, 20, Katrina McKeough, 21, Courtney Smith, 20 and Kirsten Van Gorp (who was known to friends as Elliott), 22, were expected to be back in Brisbane in time for dinner after travelling to the Gold Coast Hinterland for a day trip, according to the mother of a friend of the group.
Kerry, who only wanted her first name to be used, said her daughter shared an apartment with Courtney and Kirsten in Brisbane and has been left traumatised by their deaths.
The four university students reunited for the semester break and were sightseeing when the sedan they were travelling in collided with an oncoming ute.
Initial reports indicated the driver lost control around a bend on Nerang-Murwillumbah Road at Advancetown about 1pm on Saturday, with heavy rainfall suspected to be a major contributing factor.
All four died at the scene, while the 31-year-old male driver of the ute was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with minor injuries.
Kerry said Lochlan and Katrina were staying at her daughter's Brisbane apartment during their holiday from Townsville to visit Courtney.
She said her daughter had been tracking the whereabouts of the four students via Snapchat in the lead-up to the crash until they "just dropped off and there was no more posts".
She said it was a "freak accident" that couldn't have happened to a more undeserving group of friends.
"There was no speed or anything like that it was just the sheer amount of rain that came down extraordinarily," Kerry said.
"They're not into alcohol, they're not into drugs.
"They were all good examples of young people."
Kerry said her daughter has been left "haunted" by the crash and hasn't been able to return home where the crash victims' belongings remain.
"Their bags are still there (Lochlan and Katrina's)," she said.
"We'll have to go back in coming weeks, all their (Courtney and Kirsten's) stuff is in the apartment - it was their home.
"The girls (her daughter and friends) are haunted by it, I do know that the families are really struggling too (and) they've been getting support through the police."
Kerry said she met her daughter's housemates a number of times and Courtney had been to her house for family dinners.
She said everyone was in disbelief.
"Courtney was just such a gorgeous, beautiful girl and this is the first thing that stands out when you meet her," she said.
"She was absolutely wonderful, she was so bubbly.
"And Kirsten too. These were young university students whose idea of fun was hanging out on the couch together."
The crash was so catastrophic that detectives from the Criminal Investigation branch were brought in to assist officers from the Forensic Crash Unit as part of a response featuring dozens of emergency service first responders.
Originally published as Housemate 'haunted' by death of friends in crash