A training ride turned to tragedy when Wanganui-born
businesswoman lost control of her
bike and collided with a vehicle south of Sydney at the
The 35-year-old entrepreneur suffered severe injuries and a
stroke, and two days later her family made the heartbreaking
decision to turn off her life support.
She was well known in Sydney business circles after working
her way up as a financial planner and starting her own
company. She was also a member of the League of Extraordinary
Women, a group set up to motivate and support other female
Last night her father David Kinnaird spoke to the Herald
about the decision to turn off the life support and his
meeting with the driver of the car she hit.
"This driver did nothing. We were all feeling for him, so
when the police came to see us we asked if we could make
contact with him, if we could possible have a word with him
and offer our condolences," Mr Kinnaird said.
"We don't hold him responsible in any way whatsoever. It was
a tragic accident, unfortunately caused by my daughter. She
knew the risks and she came up short at that particular
Ms Kinnaird was training for an Ironman event in the southern
Sydney suburb of Waterfall on Saturday morning. Police said
she was travelling down a "very steep" hill when she lost
control and swerved into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Her husband Matt McBrearty raced to the hospital after the
accident and then called Mr Kinnaird and his wife Jannine in
"Matt talked to us constantly, gave us all the information
and then told us 'I think someone better come over'. He has
been our rock over this side," said Mr Kinnaird.
Mrs Kinnaird flew to Sydney on Sunday morning and called her
husband at 2.30am on Monday with bad news.
"We had 15 minutes to decide if they would operate on her.
"If they didn't operate the swelling on her brain would get
worse, but if they did she would be in a vegetative state and
spend the rest of her life in a nursing home.
"My girls and I knew - it wouldn't be Casey if she was in a
bed unable to do anything again. She wouldn't want that, and
we knew that.
"Matt said the same thing. Straight away he said 'no, you
can't do that to Casey'."
Mr Kinnaird and his younger daughters Alycia and Jevada made
it to Sydney in time to say their goodbyes.
"She was an organ donor ... If you knew my girl, that's what
she was all about, helping other people. It's a very special
thing," Mr Kinnaird said.
The family will return to New Zealand for a funeral, and head
back to Sydney for a memorial service on February 6.
Mr Kinnaird said his daughter would be missed "terribly".
"From an early age we knew she was pretty special. Anything
she did she just excelled at - school, sport, anything.
"She just succeeded. She loved people. She was a bubbly
person, very positive, outgoing. She never had an unkind word
to say about anyone or anything," he said.