It’s the worst nightmare of every mother whose child travels overseas.
For 11 hours after her daughter was killed in an horrific road accident in Brisbane last September, Danish woman Mikala Liemann’s life went on as usual.
It was only when 22-year-old Rebekka Meyer failed to contact her boyfriend on his birthday that Ms Liemann realised something was terribly wrong.
An online news story confirmed her worst fears, and burned the image of her daughter’s mangled bicycle, strewn belongings and covered body forever into her mind.
In Brisbane for Rebekka’s inquest, a heartbroken Ms Liemann said no family should ever have to go through what she did.
“I would (never) wish for anybody to go through the same … you are all the time doubting, it can’t be her, it can’t be her,” she said.
“So I hope that police will be able to get messages to families before they have to see things.
“I wish that we had heard it before we actually found out ourselves.”
Ms Meyer had been in Australia on a scholarship to study anthropology at the University of Queensland.
A keen cyclist who, according to her mother, had “a lot of respect” for Brisbane traffic, she had taken to dragging her bike through the city’s busy intersections.
But not long before the accident Ms Meyer informed her mother she had learned to ride like a local.
“Rebekka was used to travelling, used to getting around in new places and she was good at finding out … how to act in different situations,” Ms Liemann told the inquest.
She was run over and crushed by a truck as it turned across the notorious South Brisbane intersection of Stanley Street and Annerley Road during morning peak hour on September 11 last year.
The veteran truck driver who hit her, Jody Jeffrey, testified he never saw the cyclist.
It’s unclear whether just before the fatal collision Mr Jeffrey had stopped behind Ms Meyer at the traffic lights, or whether Ms Meyer had pulled in front of his truck, unseen, while it was stationary.
There was no CCTV footage and witness statements were conflicting.
Investigating officer Senior Constable David Armitage confirmed that Mr Jeffrey wasn’t charged because of the doubt.
Ms Meyer’s sister Tania Lousdal Jensen said she did not believe Mr Jeffrey was “evil” but speculated he may have been distracted.
The inquest, before Coroner Christine Clements in Brisbane, is due to finish on Friday.