Dreamworld tragedy: Victim died in partner's arms

  • 27/10/2016
Kate Goodchild died in the tragic accident (Facebook)
Kate Goodchild died in the tragic accident (Facebook)

The mother-in-law of a woman killed in the Dreamworld raft ride tragedy has recounted how she died in her son's arms with their distraught daughter looking on.

Gillian Turner says her son, David Goodchild, reached his childhood sweetheart Kate immediately after the deadly malfunction on the Thunder River Rapids Ride on Tuesday which killed four people.

"My son managed to reach his partner ... who died in his arms while his 12-year-old daughter looked on screaming in the background," Ms Turner said in a statement to reporters in Canberra.

"I would like to believe that my 12-year-old granddaughter was saved so she could tell her little sister what a wonderful mum Kate was.

"We're all numb. We're all in shock."

Ms Turner's granddaughter was aboard the same raft as Kate Goodchild, but managed to escape after it flipped and killed four passengers due to a conveyor belt malfunction.

As well as Mrs Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozbeh Araghi and Sydney-based New Zealand expat Cindy Low all died in the incident.

Ms Low's 10-year-old son also escaped after being thrown from the raft in what police have described as a "near miracle".

Ray Dorsett, Kate and Luke's uncle, said they've been blindsided by the tragedy.

"You never expect it to be, you know, part of your family," he said.

"For it to happen, and the way it has in the tragic incident, it really is hard to explain just how that's going to affect the family in the future."

Ms Turner also criticised Dreamworld owners Ardent Leisure for failing to contact them since the tragedy on Tuesday.