Tears for a lit­tle cham­pion

Geitz com­forts play­ers af­ter girl killed in crash

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - GREG STOLZ

NETBALL star Laura Geitz helped con­sole shat­tered young play­ers yes­ter­day af­ter the death of one of their own in a hor­rific dou­ble fa­tal­ity car crash en route to a pri­mary school car­ni­val in Bund­aberg.

The eight-year-old Gold Coast girl, a mem­ber of the Coomera Netball Club, was killed in the head-on col­li­sion on the Bruce High­way near South Isis, south­east of Childers, on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

The male driver of the other ve­hi­cle in­volved in the crash, a ute, also died. A woman and an 11-year-old girl trav­el­ling with the 8-year-old suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries and were flown to Sun­shine Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal.

The tragedy cast a pall over the Pri­mary Schools Cup, a Netball Queens­land-hosted car­ni­val in­volv­ing 800 chil­dren which be­gan yes­ter­day in Bund­aberg.

Re­cently re­tired Queens­land Fire­birds star Geitz ar­rived at the car­ni­val for a pro­mo­tional visit soon af­ter news of the tragedy broke.

Coomera Netball Club of­fi­cials spoke of their grief in a Face­book post yes­ter­day.

“We as a com­mit­tee write this post with a very heavy heart,” they said.

“Yes­ter­day three mem­bers of our club were in­volved with a fa­tal car crash in Bund­aberg. A mem­ber from our un­der-8 Avalanche team sadly passed away while trav­el­ling to a school netball event.

“We cur­rently have one of our se­nior coaches and her grand­daugh­ter in hos­pi­tal with se­ri­ous in­juries.

“We … don’t have full de­tails on this at this point. We of­fer our deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies in­volved, we can­not even be­gin to imag­ine what you might be go­ing through at this very sad time.

“We as a club need to rally round and help th­ese fam­i­lies ... we are ask­ing you to dig deep and make a do­na­tion di­rect de­posited into our club bank ac­count – all funds raised will go directly to all fam­i­lies in­volved.”

Netball Queens­land CEO Cather­ine Clark said the heart- break­ing tragedy had cast a shadow over “what would oth­er­wise have been an ab­so­lutely won­der­ful fes­ti­val”.

“There are 800 girls and boys here in Bund­aberg and it’s a bit of a som­bre time,” she said.

“Many peo­ple were un­aware of the tragedy be­cause they were trav­el­ling here and we’ve made them aware of it this morn­ing. We’re wrap­ping our arms around the fam­i­lies and the com­mu­ni­ties that have been im­pacted by this ter­ri­ble, heart­break­ing ac­ci­dent.”

HAV­ING A BALL: Beach rugby play­ers Rob­bie Barone, Meg Holy­man and Ross Colvin in ac­tion on Kirra Beach. Pic­ture: Luke Mars­den

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