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A talented young rugby league player is among the two people who died after a car accident on Mother’s Day.
Vaea Taavale, 22, was killed when her Mitsubishi collided with a Mazda on Centenary Highway between Springfield and White Rock, south of Brisbane, at 6:20am on Sunday.
Anthony Cooper, 30, also died before a third vehicle collided with the two colliding cars, leaving another man and two women with serious injuries.
Family and friends have paid tribute to Mr Taavale who played for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls Juniors Brisbane Rugby League A Grade team.
“It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of our beloved brother Vaea,” his brother Ake Peseta wrote on Facebook.
‘Unfortunately, our brother gained his wings in the early hours of this morning.
“At this time, we ask that you respect our privacy as we try to navigate this incredibly painful journey.”
A heartbroken friend recalled playing a league game with Mr. Taavale just a few weeks before the accident.
“Just watching the news and finding out you passed uce was shocking, life is too short and our last message was last month,” she wrote.
“It was crazy playing against you in Mustangs too and you just started playing for Wynnum we used to make fun of each other at work and joke around but man gone too soon little guy RIP Vaea Taavale.”
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls team made an emotional post saying goodbye to their fellow star.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that in the early hours of Sunday morning, Wynnum player Vaea Taavale tragically passed away,” the post read.
‘A promising young player with huge potential who, after some setbacks early in the season, has recently returned and is back to make an impression on the BRL competition.
“The players and coaching staff are deeply shocked and saddened by his sudden passing.
“The Wynnum Soccer Club and the community extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest easy Big V.’
Mr. Cooper was remembered as a “good man” by his friend Ty Graham.
“He always helped others when he could…he made sure his friends and family always had what they needed…he had a huge impact on everyone,” he told Courier Mail.
“He was a person who had recently come out of a mental health slump after being there for years … he started a business and it started to turn his life around,” Graham said.
“He helped me in my own struggle with mental health.”
Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kevin Morgan described the crash site as “confrontational”.
Vaea Taavale Quick and Facts
- Talented rugby league player among two people killed in three-vehicle crash
- Two cars collided before third crashed on Queensland Highway on Sunday
- Family and friends have paid emotional tributes to late 22-year-old Vaea Taavale