Milli O’Nair was killed tragically and instantly on Sunday morning when a driver hit the rear wheel of her push bike with the rental truck he was driving.
Her partner, friends and family were in shock yesterday as news of her death travelled around the Northern Rivers where the 41-year-old was born and raised.
People wept at Tyagarah’s Gondwana Sanctuary, the community she had called home for the past six years.
“She was just such a beautiful lady, and full of life and doing such great work,” her housemate of three years, Bodha, said.
Friends talked of Milli’s work as a non-violent communication trainer and relationship mediator, who was invited across Australia to work with groups, couples and individuals.
She delighted in laughter, and in sharing her talents as a laughter yoga practitioner, as well as a fairy and face painter at local markets and kids’ parties, they said.
“Milli always had a sign up: ‘I love to laugh,’” Bodha said.
“When I first came here about 10 years ago you’d always see Milli walking around with her fairy wings.
“Milli was a sparkly person,” she said.
“The thing I keep hearing is her laugh; her laugh everywhere.”
A friend, Iris Ray, said she had been waiting for Milli to arrive at her birthday celebration on Sunday before she heard the news.
She and Milli had a regular date walking to the Cape Byron Lighthouse together, she said.
“I just can’t quite believe it,” Ms Ray said through tears.
“She was a fairy for my daughter at a party when she was little.
“She was very child-like and had the capacity to connect with innocents and free spirits.
“She was a visionary. She had big visions for a peaceful world.”
Ballina Crash Investigation Unit is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Milli’s death on the Pacific Highway at Tyagarah just before 7am on Sunday.
Police expect to lay charges against the 18-year-old driver.
The pair had started out from the Gold Coast on Sunday morning to return the truck to Sydney, Senior Constable Mich McMullen said.
“The physical evidence shows that the south-bound truck has veered to the left-hand side and hit the guard rail,” he said.
“It has run into the rear tyre of the lady’s bike and then she’s hit the front of the truck.”
Milli’s body appeared to have been thrown over the side of the railing by the impact, landing on disused railway tracks below the highway.
“The impact of the actual crash would have been enough to kill her,” Snr Const McMullen said.