History repeats: Katie saw her friend killed

KATIE Peters was just six years old when a friend was killed in front of her — a tree limb struck a utility.

In May, 2000 a snow storm blew across the North East leaving drifts across roads from Yackandandah to Corryong.

It was a sightseers’ dream that turned into a nightmare for Katie, who was killed by a falling tree near Harrietville on Wednesday afternoon.

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Katie was one of nine in and on the tray of a Toyota Hilux 13 years ago, taking in the view from Lockhart’s Gap when tragedy struck.

A 42-metre-high gum tree gave way under the burden of snow, a 14-metre branch killing fellow sightseer and family friend Georgia Smith, 6, instantly.

Katie had been with her four siblings, mother and father, Heather and Chris, along with the Smith family.

Katie, along with her siblings, Jordan and Laura, was not injured.

But two other siblings Amy and Dixon were flown by air ambulance to Melbourne for treatment.

Her mother, and the mother of Georgia, Margot Smith, were rushed to Albury Hospital.

Wodonga paramedic Mike Fuery told The Border Mail at the time that the victims were incredibly unlucky.

“It was just one of those freak accidents that people have no idea of,” he said.

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