Coast man in shock after sister dies in Germanwings disaster
JOHN Coram is still struggling to accept that his little sister Carol is dead.
He finds it surreal that she died just days after he waved goodbye to her at Sydney Airport as she left on another overseas adventure.
But the Dulong man vividly remembers receiving the phone call telling him Carol and her son Greig had been killed in the Germanwings plane disaster in the French Alps.
They were the only Australians among 150 passengers and crew who died when the plane's co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately crashed the plane.
"We'd just spent time with them at my daughter's 40th birthday in Bateau Bay," a grieving Mr Coram said.
"Then we saw her off at the airport. We were on our way home, driving up the inland way, when we got the call from Dave (Carol's husband).
"He was so upset, he could hardly speak.
"It's knocked the wind out of us."
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The 68-year-old nurse and her 29-year-old son had been on the Barcelona to Dusseldorf flight as they made their way to France, where Greig was to begin a two-year teaching appointment.
Mrs Friday and her husband were world travellers but he had opted out of the trip because she planned to spend a week visiting art galleries.
Mr Coram's partner, Olive Bringans, said her sister-in-law had been a regular visitor to the Sunshine Coast.
"We used to go down to see them a couple of times a year and they'd come up here," she said.
"She had quite a few friends here on the Sunshine Coast. She'd come up and stay with us and go and see them."
In a statement shortly after the crash, the family described Mrs Friday and her son as "extraordinary and exceptional people who were loved by many, who they loved in return".
"They will forever be with us in our hearts, memories and dreams.''
Mr Coram's brother Mal has visited the crash site and will return to Australia next week to report to his family.
Qantas will fly John from Brisbane to Melbourne for free so he can join the gathering.
"It was very good of them," he said.
He expects it will be an emotional reunion, especially as no one knows when the family will be able to hold Carol and Greig's funerals.