Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pilot’s partner wins court approval to organize his funeral: FU24 Stallion, VH-EUO, fatal accident occurred June 16, 2017 in Upper Turon, New South Wales, Australia

Jayson Spencer, 43, died without a will, causing acrimony between his partner and his family.

 Catherine Alvarez Loquias, a helicopter pilot.

The partner of a Brisbane pilot killed in a crash last month has won a legal tug-of-love over his funeral after his family told her she was not welcome to attend.

Jayson Spencer, 43, who died on June 16 when his plane crashed near Bathurst, was laid to rest in Brisbane last Tuesday after an agreement was reached.

Catherine Loquias was told by Mr. Spencer’s family she could not organize or attend his funeral after she had begun planning it, the Supreme Court heard.

Ms. Loquias was Mr. Spencer’s de facto and next-of-kin and she and her daughter, 9, had lived with him at his West End townhouse for more than two years, her court affidavit said.

Ms. Loquias and Mr Spencer had also run a market stall together, the court heard.

After police notified her of the crash, Ms. Loquias travelled to Bathurst, met one of Mr. Spencer’s brothers, discussed funeral arrangements with him, and viewed her partner’s body, her affidavit said.

The court heard some of Mr. Spencer’s family had locks on his townhouse changed on July 5, and Ms Loquias hired a locksmith to change the locks to access her possessions.

“The family has been unequivocal in their wish that Catherine is to have no involvement whatsoever in the funeral,’’ the family’s lawyer said in an email to her lawyer two days later.

“Catherine is not welcome to attend the funeral. Catherine is to vacate the property at West End immediately.’’

On July 12, after Ms. Loquias made an urgent application to the Supreme Court, Justice Martin Daubney made an order stopping the funeral planned by his family for the following day.

They were ordered not to interfere with Ms. Loquias’s possession of Mr. Spencer’s townhouse or dispose of estate property.

On July 20, Justice Daubney made orders allowing Ms. Loquias to organize the funeral service at a memorial chapel and for Mr Spencer’s immediate family to bury him at Mt Gravatt Cemetery.

All were welcome to attend the service and burial under the agreement sorted out by court-appointed administrator Frederic Smith, of McInnes Wilson Lawyers.

Ms. Loquias was allowed to organize a private wake, at her expense, which Mr. Spencer’s family would not attend.

As no will has been found, Ms. Loquias also applied for letters of administration of Mr. Spencer’s estate, under intestacy. Mr Spencer’s mother has been given time to file material to contest it.

“I had been in a continuous relationship with Jayson for two years and two months prior to his death,’’ Ms. Loquias said, adding that they had previously had an 11-year on-off relationship.

She filed receipts for their white gold “promise rings” bought in 2015.

Collision with terrain involving a FU24 Stallion, VH-EUO, Upper Turon, NSW, on June 16, 2017

The ATSB is investigating a fatal aircraft accident involving a FU24 Stallion, VH-EUO, Upper Turon, NSW, on June 16, 2017

During aerial agricultural operations, the aircraft collided with terrain, the pilot was fatally injured.

The ATSB has deployed a team of three investigators to the accident site.

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