Death probe continues
FAMILY and friends of a North Ward woman killed in a freak mower accident a year ago are stunned it is still under investigation.
Muraka ‘‘ Jenny’’ Vearncombe was killed instantly while walking to work on March 3 last year, struck in the head by a piece of pipe flung up by a slasher operating in long grass across the road.
Ms Vearncombe’s former employer, friend and African Bazaar owner Harry Martin said this week he was shocked to hear the investigation had taken so long, describing it as a ‘‘ long, drawn out pro- cess’’. He said he hoped the eventual outcome would stop a similar tragedy from occurring again.
‘‘ There have to be clear guidelines as to the manner in which equipment which can possibly put people’s lives in danger should be used,’’ he said.
Mr Martin said the incident still played heavily on the minds of Ms Vearncombe’s friends and family.
‘‘ We still think of her often and haven’t completely come to terms with the nature of the event and the way it happened,’’ he said.
‘‘ It leaves one forever with the sense of uncertainty as to what life holds ahead.’’
A Workplace Health and Safety spokesman this week confirmed investigations were ongoing and was unable to provide a time frame as to when the organisation would have an outcome.
Initial investigations suggested the incident was an accident and the piece of pipe was hidden in long grass being slashed by the tractor involved, but Workplace Health and Safety inquiries would determine exactly what happened and what recommendations for rel-
The tractor-slasher evant businesses, if any, arise from the tragedy.
Mr Martin said while the tragic circumstances still haunted her l o v e d o n e s o n e y e a r o n , Ms Vearncombe’s caring and gentle nature was the memory which overrode all others.
‘‘ You wonder about how people who are intrinsically good go, while people who do monstrous and horrible things often live very long lives,’’ he said.
‘‘ That’s how people remember Jenny, as a good person.’’
The same sentiments were said immediately after the tragic accident last year, with fiance Peter Pyne saying Ms Vearncombe meant the world to him.
‘‘ She was out of the ordinary and that’s what attracted me to her,’’ he said.
‘‘ Jenny was the sort of person everyone made friends with. ‘‘ She was my everything.’’ Jenny was born in Papua New Guinea but moved to Australia 15 years ago, living in various parts of the state including Cairns and Rockhampton, where she met Peter five years ago.