A young family has revealed how they tried to save the victims of the Dreamworld Thunder River tragedy – and how they’re still haunted by the day’s events.
Tourists Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low died when their raft flipped and they were flung onto the ride conveyor at the Gold Coast theme park in October 2016.
Bree Dedini, her husband Steven Apthorp, and their two children, were on the raft that collided with the doomed craft.
The Sunday Mail reports the now-separated couple have launched legal action against the theme park’s owner Ardent Leisure in New South Wales’ Supreme Court.
Bree Dedini, her husband Steven Apthorp, and their two children, were on the raft that collided with the doomed craft (pictured)
Ms Dedini and Mr Apthorp claim the crash’s horrific aftermath and ‘scenes of traumatic injury’ triggered psychiatric illness and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In their statement of claim, Mr Apthorp said he attempted to aid the victims after ushering his own family to safety.
The parents-of-two allege in their statement of claim that they pleaded with the ride’s operator to ‘activate the emergency stop’ button earlier than she did.
However, teenager Courtney Williams had only been working on the ride for a week and her quick response was hailed as heroic by police.
Last year, senior police investigator Detective Sergeant Nicola Brown told an inquest into the incident that Ms Williams had gone into ’emergency mode’ and rushed to help a victim’s young son.
‘She responded very quickly, didn’t she?’ he asked Det Sgt Brown.
‘Once the incident had unfolded, (Courtney) went into emergency mode and assisted everyone she could, including Kieran out of the ride,’ she replied.
Four people died after they were flung onto the ride conveyor at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in October 2016
Ms Dedini and Mr Apthorp claim the collision triggered psychiatric illness and post-traumatic stress disorder
In their statement of claim, the parents-of-two allege they pleaded with the ride’s operator to ‘activate the emergency stop’ button earlier than she did
On Friday, Ms Dedini reached a settlement with Dreamworld at the NSW Supreme Court, with the matter set to be formalised next month.
Last year, family members of two of the four people killed on the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids Ride said they hold the theme park ‘totally responsible’.
Relatives said the tragedy has ‘throttled the family’ in a statement released by their lawyers.
The family of Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett said they were ‘tired’, ‘devastated’ and horrified by the evidence that came out of the Coronial Inquest.
‘We hold Dreamworld totally responsible for this tragic event that could have so easily been avoided.
‘It has throttled our family.’
Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett (pictured) died in the 2016 tragedy
The family of Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett said they were ‘tired’, ‘devastated’ and horrified by the evidence that has come out of the Coronial Inquest
The Thunder River Rapids ride’s south water pump failed twice on the day of the tragedy before a third malfunction led to the fatal incident.
‘Prior to that day I had a different understanding on how to proceed with a breakdown,’ engineer Matthew Robertson told the inquest.
‘On the third breakdown I was to advise a supervisor and not progress further.’
Mr Robertson said he and another mechanical engineer had sought permission from electrical staff to reset the pump after it failed.
Mr Dorsett’s partner Roozi Araghi (left) and New Zealander Cindy Low (right) also died in the tragedy
‘They were distracted that day. They had other electrical issues elsewhere at the park,’ he said.
‘The guests were getting irritable.’
After the pump failed a second time, Mr Robertson said he and the colleague reset it without the presence of electrical staff before telling a supervisor the ride would be shut down if it failed a third time.
Mr Robertson said on a shift as a park technician he could be called out to up to 20 ‘Code Sixes’ (malfunctions) across the park’s attractions.
He admitted he and his colleague had ‘merely identified the symptom’ of the pump failure not its cause.
Both Mr Robertson and Ms Brix said they had neither CPR nor first aid training.