A mother was reportedly wrapping the two children’s Christmas presents when she received the knock on the door to tell her they had been killed in a tragic light plane accident.
Catherine Di Blasio recalled the moment detectives knocked on her door on Sunday afternoon to inform her that her children, Lavinia Mocanu, 10, and her brother, Lucas, 9, had been killed when the Cessna plane they were in crashed shortly after taking off at Redcliffe, north of Brisbane.
Travelling with them was their father Cris Mocanu, 41, and pilot Robert Watterson, 67, who also both died.
‘When they came to my house, the detectives, I was wrapping the kids’ Christmas presents,’ Ms Di Blasio
She said the joy flight had been a surprise for her son Lucas’ birthday in November. Ms Di Blasio’s ex-partner, Cris, worked for Mr Watterson’s company, Lincom Group.
Ms Di Blasio took the children to meet their father ahead of the trip on Sunday morning but was not aware they would be taking the flight that day.
‘I just told them “have fun guys, I love you”,’ she said.
‘My son turned around and said ‘love you too mum’ and they left.’
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation into what caused the four-seater Rockwell International light plane to crash has commenced, with some reports the engine stopped shortly after take-off.
‘Early reports are that [the crash] was not long after take-off, but we’ll need to confirm that with air traffic control,’ Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said on Sunday.
‘Equally anything we can get from the aircraft itself, any types of recorders that may have been aboard the aircraft and any other information, such as witnesses, to confirm exactly what stage of flight [the crash happened].’
Mr Mocanu had moved to Australia with Ms Di Blasio, a registered nurse, from Montreal, Canada 14 years ago.
Her family are expected to travel from Canada in the next fortnight to support her following the tragic deaths of her children.
Ms Di Blasio revealed she was giving her daughter a pair of sneakers and clothes for Christmas, while Lucas was getting Pokemon cards and clothes.
‘They each wanted a gold chain so I had bought them one with my savings a couple of months ago and was looking forward to giving it to them,’ she said.
‘Catherine adored her children and is a much loved and hard-working registered nurse who has worked tirelessly through this pandemic so let’s all get behind them and show our support and give them the wonderful send off that they deserve,’ Tracey Baughman wrote on the page.
‘This is a tragic accident … in the lead-up to Christmas and the last thing that any family need to go through at this time of the year, at any time,’ Police Inspector Craig White said.