Woman in NT crash dies


FORMER Byron Bay business owner Beatrice Occhilupo has died after being in a coma for five months.

The 51-year-old had been in hospital since February after a vehicle in which she was a%passenger rolled in the Northern Territory near Tennant Creek.

Mrs Occhilupo, a Fingal resident, worked as an interior designer and had owned her own business, Beatrice Occhilupo Imports and Interior Design, in the Byron Bay Arts and Industrial Estate.

Most of the wider community knew her as the ex-wife of world surfing champion Mark Occhilupo.

When Mr Occhilupo became the oldest man to win a world surfing title at the age of 33 in 1999, he dedicated the win to Beatrice.

The pair split in 2001 and Mr Occhilupo has since remarried.

The surfer has told Gold Coast media he is 'deeply saddened' by the death of his ex-wife and his thoughts are with her son, Rainer.

The driver of the vehicle Mrs Occhilupo was travelling in was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

He is believed to have been the first person convicted of the Northern Territory's new charge of 'driving a motor vehicle causing harm'.

The man and Mrs Occhilupo were on their way to Queensland when the accident occurred.

Mrs Occhilupo's family described her death on July 4 in the Tweed Heads District Hospital as 'peaceful'.

A celebration of her life was held at the Tweed Heads Crematorium Chapel last Friday.

Send your Beatrice Occhilupo tributes to, fax 66247 265, SMS 0428 264 948 or leave a voicemail message on 6624 3266.

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