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'I couldn't find Mummy' - Dreamworld trial hears haunting details

Business

A teenager who saw her mother and two uncles killed on a Dreamworld ride four years ago has travelled from Canberra to watch the theme park’s sentencing in a Gold Coast court.

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Ebony Turner was 12 when she witnessed the deadly accident on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016.

The teenager has been accompanied by Kim Dorsett, who is her grandmother and the mother of ride victims Kate Godchild and Luke Dorsett.

Mr Dorsett’s partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low also died when their raft collided with an empty raft and flipped.

Ms Dorsett gave a victim impact statement at the theme park’s sentencing at Southport Magistrates Court this morning.

She recounted the moment when she saw her granddaughter Ebony at the police station after being told about the tragedy.

“Ebony had survived the accident and was hysterical trying to tell of the events that had taken place that afternoon,” Ms Dorsett told the court.

“‘I couldn’t find Mummy’.

“These words have become a recurring nightmare, words that will be with me until I too take my last breath.”

Ms Dorsett stopped several times to reach for tissues during her emotional address, which she had travelled from Canberra with Ebony to deliver in person.

She described her daily struggles with PTSD, loss of memory and organisational skills, and a life now lived in a “lonely village of grief”.

Several of the victims’ family members have been watching proceedings via video link, including Ms Low’s brother, Michael Cook, and her husband, Matthew Low.

Queensland’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, has charged Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure with three counts of Failure to Comply with Health and Safety Duty, Category 2, under the Queensland Health and Safety Act.

The maximum penalty for each breach is $1.5 million — equating to $4.5 million in total.

In July, Ardent Leisure appeared briefly in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to all three charges.

The case has returned to court for sentencing proceedings, which could stretch over a number of days.

A coronial inquest into the four deaths made findings of a series of failures at the park, including safety and maintenance systems that the coroner described as “rudimentary at best” and “frighteningly unsophisticated”.

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