Scene of the double fatal accident on the 'on ramp' to the East/West section of the Sunshine Motorway.
Scene of the double fatal accident on the 'on ramp' to the East/West section of the Sunshine Motorway. The Sunshine Coast Daily

Parents killed helping daughter

THEY were two of the most amazing people the Sunshine Coast has known.

He was the Coast's first primary school chaplain, a mentor to so many young kids, a former school principal, a surfer, a larrikin, a lover of life.

She was a dance instructor who, over more than quarter of a century on the Coast, inspired thousands of children to reach for the stars.

Yesterday, as they went to help their daughter who had broken down on the Sunshine Motorway, just around the corner from the home they had just built at Sippy Downs, their lives came to a tragic end.

"Heaven is shining brighter tonight,'' one tribute to Allan and Kari Taylor read.

"Mr T" as he was known to the kids, was responding to a call from his daughter Ashleah, after she was involved in a minor accident on the Sunshine Motorway between the Bruce Highway and Sippy Downs drive about 4.15pm.

She had parked her blue Daewoo Nubira sedan in the centre median strip of the motorway before calling for help.

Mr and Mrs Taylor arrived in their blue Hyundai Accent sedan and parked on the left-hand side of the east-bound lanes on the bitumen shoulder opposite their daughter.

Police said the couple were standing behind their car when they were struck by an east-bound four-wheel-drive vehicle driven by a 75-year-old man from Wurtulla.

Sunshine Coast police superintendent Ben Hanbidge said the circumstances surrounding the crash were extraordinarily tragic. "The couple were standing behind their vehicle when their vehicle was struck from behind."

Ashleah, 22, and due to be married in October, was not badly injured but was taken to Nambour General Hospital and treated for shock. Her younger brother Kallanhas has also been devastated by the loss of his mum and dad.

News of the tragedy spread quickly through Coast schools, churches and community organisations where the Taylors were so well known.

"I just can't believe it,'' councillor Jenny McKay, who knew Mr Taylor for years through his involvement as a chaplain at Woombye and Palmwoods state school, said.

Mr Taylor had only recently helped guide students through their grief following the road crash deaths of twin five-year-old girls at Woombye.

"I just don't know how much more (this community) can take,'' she said of the loss.

"Allan and Kari were there for everyone.''

"Whether you wanted a clown or an announcer for the school fair you could always call on Allan,'' Mrs McKay said.

Mr Taylor, who was one of the first principals at Suncoast Christian College, left a secure job to become a chaplain because he wanted to help state school kids.

"He just gave and gave.''

Kari Taylor has run the Machaneh Dance School at Woombye for years, even taking groups of dance students in costumes to poverty stricken third world countries to lift the local spirits.

Long-time friend Jane Issell said Kari was "just sunshine as far as we were all concerned''.

"She had so much time for people.''

Kari taught Mrs Issell's daughter, Danica, now 28, since she was five years old.

"They were two of the most amazing people.''

"They are going to leave a massive hole,'' Mrs Issell said.

Chaplaincy area manager Kerry Evans, who has spent years himself helping others comes to terms with loss, was last night trying to do the same for his friends of more than 20 years.

He said Mr Taylor was "adored' by students at Woombye and Palmwoods schools. "Kids have grown up with him at both of the schools.''

Mr Evans said Mr Taylor was a larrikin who "really appreciated life'' while the couple had a strong faith.

"If anyone was Jesus to anyone it was someone like Allan,'' he said.


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