Family of twin girls killed in Carrabin crash express thanks for ‘loving us all through these dark days’

The West Australian
Twin girls Riley & Macey have died in a crash in Carrabin on Sunday.
Camera IconTwin girls Riley & Macey have died in a crash in Carrabin on Sunday. Credit: Facebook/ Facebook

The family of the twin sisters who lost their lives in a Wheatbelt crash at the weekend has expressed their gratitude for “loving us all through these dark days” as they grapple with the “unspeakable tragedy”.

Macey and Riley, seven-year-old sisters who were in Year 3 at Halls Head Primary School, died after a Toyota Camry sedan they were travelling in left Great Eastern Highway and smashed into a tree near Carrabin about 11am on Sunday.

Their 31-year-old mother, Rachel van Oyen, escaped without serious injuries.

As the family comes to terms with the tragic deaths of the adored young sisters, Ms van Oyen’s mother Lisa Blair has thanked their loved ones for their support.

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“(We) will be absent for a while as our family navigates this unspeakable tragedy,” she posted to social media.

“Thank you for your understanding and for loving us all through these dark days.

“We are utterly broken.”

The girls were utterly cherished by the family, with Ms Blair describing the pair in 2020 as “gorgeous, funny, cheeky, magical little twins”.

“True sunshine souls who bring so much joy to their entire family,” she wrote.

Earlier this week, Halls Head Primary School principal Peter Beckingham offered condolences to the sisters’ family, while reassuring parents that staff would be available to support their kids.

“I write to you with some very sad news,” he said in a letter distributed by the school on Monday.

“Two of our current Year 3 students have died over the weekend.

Twin girls Riley & Macey.
Camera IconTwin girls Riley & Macey. Credit: Facebook/ Facebook

“The family have asked not to be contacted and we acknowledge and respect their privacy.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends as they grieve this tragic loss.

Mr Beckingham advised parents that “at times like these” it was helpful for students to continue their normal routines “as much as possible”, including attending school and their usual activities outside school.

“You may be concerned about your child’s reactions or feelings about this news,” he wrote. “Your child may be upset, even if they did not know the students. We encourage you to give your child opportunities to talk about how they are feeling.”

The letter included links to resources to help parents discuss grief and sudden loss, reassuring them children benefit from being given honest, simple and developmentally appropriate information.

Education Department director-general Lisa Rodgers reiterated that support would be provided to staff and students at Halls Head Primary for “as long as it is needed”.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family during this very sad and difficult time,” she said. “We are respecting their privacy.”

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