Bill and Karen Zahner at the Gympie Pines Golf Club in 2013.
Bill and Karen Zahner at the Gympie Pines Golf Club in 2013. David Crossley

Beautiful couple: friends mourn Gympie crash victim

A COMMUNITY is devastated by the death of much-loved cafe manager Karen Zahner who was killed in a horror head-on car crash at Long Flat on Tuesday afternoon.

Her husband Bill, a passenger in the Hyundai hatchback Karen was driving, remains in a critical condition in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The couple, who ran the Cooloola Specialist Coffee Shop, were not far from their Calico Creek home when the only two cars on the straight stretch of the Mary Valley Highway struck each other, killing Karen on impact.

Now the medical community, who met Karen daily as she served coffee with a warm and welcoming smile, are in mourning as the cafe remains empty since the tragedy.

"It's terrible," Gympie's QML pathology collector Jo Dodt said.

"Both of them are the most beautiful couple you'd ever meet. They would never say a bad word about anyone."

 

Karen and Bill Zahner when they first took over the Cooloola Specialist Coffee Shop in 2007.
Karen and Bill Zahner when they first took over the Cooloola Specialist Coffee Shop in 2007. Contributed

Mrs Dodt said the staff of the Cooloola Community Private Hospital, Cooloola Specialist and Diagnostic Centre and QML Pathology on Channon St had all been touched by Karen's kindness and sweet disposition.

They made it their business to ease their customer's day, she said, often delivering their orders to their work desks.

"That was just the type of people they are," she said.

Gympie Show Society president Graham Engemen, who knew the couple through Bill's years as the Show's boer goat section steward said the couple had always been very well-liked.

"They were very giving, community-minded people."

Gympie Times


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