By Danielle Kutchel
A family devastated by a tragic car accident is taking comfort in the love of the community.
Nathan and Chei David, pastors at Loch Alive Christian Church, were killed in a car crash on Tasmania’s Bass Highway on Saturday 10 July.
Their three children were injured in the accident and taken to hospital.
The family had been visiting Tasmania for a holiday.
Meanwhile, their house on the mainland had just been sold by Ray White Berwick.
And when the agency heard the news, director Debbie Brettoner knew she had to do something to help the now-orphaned children.
She set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to support the kids and kicked it off by donating the agency’s commission from the sale – more than $15,000.
She said she wants to see the fundraiser reach $40,000.
Ms Brettoner said the whole team was shocked to hear about the couple’s death, having only spoken to Nathan a short time before his death.
“We couldn’t comprehend this could actually happen,” she said.
“It’s so gut-wrenching to think three boys lost their parents in one hit.”
The agency sent the fundraiser to its past and present client database, and Ms Brettoner said the support so far had been overwhelming.
“Hopefully everyone keeps jumping on board. If we can take some pressure off everything they’re going through, that’s our goal.”
Chei’s sister Aiole said the fundraised amount was expected to be a huge help for the kids’ future needs.
The three boys will now live with Aiole and her husband, who did not hesitate to take them in.
“We love them like our own children,” she said.
“We will take care of them as long as we have the strength – for as long as we are here on earth.”
Aiole said she would miss her sister’s companionship and cooking.
“We were always together, going to school together, going to church with the family.
“They [Chei and Nathan] came to Australia first, I wanted to be with her and she wanted us here and that’s why we decided to migrate.”
She said Chei had encouraged her to take up camping, remembering her sister as “adventurous”.
Now faced with an enormous loss, Aiole said she was taking things one day at a time.
“It’s not easy, she’s my only sister,” she said.
“It’s only by God’s grace that we’re able to face each day with a smile on our faces despite the things in our hearts.
“These precious children are the memories they left.”
Aiole thanked those in the community who had contributed to the fundraiser, saying she didn’t have the words to express her gratitude to each and every individual.
“Is there any other word than thankyou? That’s what I’m feeling right now – overwhelmed by the love and support of community,” she said.
To donate to the fundraiser, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-tragic-davids-family-car-accident-1072021