Mayor, principal send prayers after crash kills children
THE Fraser Coast community is in mourning after a Hervey Bay mum and her four small children were killed in a horror crash at Kumbia on Monday.
At Kawungan State School, where Aaleyn and Matilda McLeod attended school, preparations were being made to help other students through the pain of their loss.
The school's principal, Mark Jones, said the school community was shocked and saddened by the loss of the students.
"They were both joyful and friendly children who will be greatly missed by all their friends and teachers," he said.
"Our thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to the family, caregivers, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.
"Support is being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at the school to provide support in any way they can and for as long as it is needed."
Parents speaking to the Chronicle as they picked their children up from school yesterday expressed their shock and compassion for the victim's family.
Kawungan mum Kalya Knight said she couldn't imagine receiving the tragic news for her own loved ones.
"I worked as a mentor for young children at the school before moving onto youth work," she said.
"I have three children myself. My daughter knew one of the girls. My heart breaks for them."
Another mum, Emily, held the hand of her toddler son as she expressed her condolences.
"It is so close to home, I have three young children myself," she said.
Other parents, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the news had rocked the close-knit school community.
Some sent their love and prayers to those affected by the deaths while others were at a loss for words to describe the gravity of the situation.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour was also shocked by the tragedy.
"The Fraser Coast community is in something of a state of shock today upon hearing the news that a mother and four young children were taken from us in a car accident last night," he said.
"This is a searing tragedy that will take some time to comprehend.
"Coming to terms with death at any stage of life can be difficult and confronting, but what we have felt this week is particularly troubling on an emotional level; it is really heart-breaking.
"If this tragedy is weighing on your mind, please speak to someone about it. It is proper and appropriate to grieve and feel sad and talking to someone about how you feel can help.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends."
If this story has brought up issues for you, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.