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Work accident tragedy shatters family


PNG tragedy A YOUNG AUSTRALIAN family is reeling in the wake of the tragic death of father-of-two, Kerry Kowitz, who was killed when a tree fell on him in the first week of his new job in PNG.

Mr Kowitz, 31, had followed in his father Peter's footsteps to become an earthworks supervisor for a new road being built at the Wafi Golpu goldmine near Lae.

Peter said his son was working with a tree-clearing crew in dense rainforest late last month when he dropped back to help make the new road wider.

“He had the guys clear around the tree,” Peter said. “Then he walked down to make sure it was okay for the boys to come to cut the tree down and for some unknown reason it fell. The top branches of the tree fell on Kerry.”

Kerry was airlifted to Lae International Hospital but his injuries were so serious he could not be revived.

He has left behind his wife of nearly 10 years Melissa and their children Jack, 4 and Chloe, 3. His mother Lynda said his entire family was devastated by the loss.

“Melissa is a strong lady but she has lost her soul mate,” she said. “They were perfect for each other. We are very proud parents of a young man gone too soon.”

His father, who has worked on and off in PNG since the mid 1960s, said Kerry had left his previous earthmoving job in Toowoomba to further his career. “I didn't lose a son, I lost a mate.”

A fund has been set up for anyone who would like to support Ms Kowitz and her two children. The Suncorp account details are BSB: 484 799 Account Number: 0700 59277.

Photo: Kerry Kowitz relaxes with his wife Melissa and their children Chloe and Jack last year

Source: Toowoomba News


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Andi Smidth

This is such a tragedy. Too bad that it had to break up a lovely family. My heart goes out to this family especially to the kids who just lost their wonderful father.

Lynda and Peter Kowitz and family

I am the proud mother of Kerry Kowitz and wish to thank those who tried to help my son at the time of the accident.

I would also like to thank Ben Moaitz' mother and family for sitting with our son and laying flowers on his coffin while he was waiting to come home to his family.

We truly appreciate that more than anyone can know.

The deep sympathies of PNG Attitude readers goes out to Lynda and Peter and their family at this very sad time - KJ

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