The heartbroken two older brothers of a ‘beautiful’ young woman who was tragically killed by a truck that mounted the footpath had always vowed to protect their younger sister.
Animal lover Mackenzie Blake, 21, was walking home on the footpath from her job at McDonald’s last Monday when she was allegedly struck by a disqualified driver who mounted the footpath from Great Western Highway, near Layton Avenue, Blaxland, in the Blue Mountains, just after 2.15pm.
Mackenzie died at the scene despite the best efforts of paramedics.
Truck driver Mustapha Ghamrawi, 54, was uninjured and was taken to hospital for mandatory testing, before being taken to Katoomba Police Station.
Mackenzie Blake, 21, (pictured) was tragically killed after allegedly being struck by a disqualified driver while walking home in the Blue Mountains last week
He was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death – drive manner dangerous, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period and negligent driving (occasioning death), and remains in custody.
Tributes have poured in for the beloved young woman who leaves behind her devastated mother Tracy Blake and older brothers Rowan and Jordan.
Ms Blake said Mackenzie had the ‘biggest heart’ of any young person she’s ever known and ‘was a truly beautiful daughter’.
‘For me she was a true gift, my rock, my wise advisor, the light of my life and my very best friend,’ Ms Blake told Daily Mail Australia.
‘She was so proud of her brothers who joined the Australian Defence Force, one still serving.
‘They were her protectors and are devastated because they couldn’t protect her from what happened.’
Ms Blake said Mackenzie was oblivious to just how much she touched the lives of those around her.
She said the family want their youngest member to be remembered for the impact she made during her short life, instead of the way it ended.
‘We don’t think she realised the impact she had on people,’ Ms Blake said.
‘We want people to remember Mackenzie for how beautiful and kind she was and her love of animals, not what happened to her.’
Devastated friends have flocked online to share their treasured memories of the hospitality worker, who was ‘caring’ and always had a ‘friendly smile’.
‘I’m so sorry macka packa. I still can remember hanging out with you and laughing and having such a great time,’ friend Grace Camilleri wrote.
‘You are missed very very dearly by everyone.’
A former colleague who worked with the young woman at the fast food chain said she was always warm and caring to those around her.
‘From my first day, I remember her friendly smile and caring nature towards others,’ she said, ‘She was incredibly lovely’.
Family friend Beck Culver has set up a GoFundMe page to help Mackenzie’s grieving family cover the costs of her funeral.
Since it was launched on Friday, it has so almost reached its $28,000 goal as the community rallies to support the Blake family.
Mackenzie has been remembered as a ‘beautiful’ person who was always caring towards others
Emergency services were called to the Great Western Highway, near the intersection of Layton Avenue, at Blaxland, (pictured) just after 2.15pm on November 1 to reports of a pedestrian crash
Ms Blake said they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received over the past week.
‘We can’t tell how wonderful our community has been,’ Ms Blake said.
‘In 2018 we moved to Victoria for 6 months and neither Mackenzie or I liked it, so we came back to the mountains.’
‘When we got back she said “I’m a mountains girl and I’m never leaving again”.’
After being taken into custody, Ghamrawi, from Penrith, was refused bail and his case was heard at Penrith Local Court on November 2.
His lawyer Abbas Soukie, told the court his client would not be applying for bail, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The matter will return to court in early 2022. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk