No forgiveness for her beloved sister’s killer
IN THE early hours of the morning on May 22, 2006, Melissa Tynan awoke to a phone call no one would ever want to receive.
It was from her sister's fiancé, Edward Keyworth.
She can still remember every word that was spoken between them.
"He asked me for forgiveness for taking my sister's life," she said.
She gave him the same answer she would give him today if he were to ask again.
"No. Just no."
While trying to evade police, Edward had crashed the Nissan Skyline he was driving into Ululah lagoon while travelling at high speeds along Ann St in Maryborough.
While Edward and his brother were able to get out of the car, Kristina was knocked unconscious.
They attempted to get her out of the car but were unsuccessful.
They left the scene and Kristina drowned.
Edward was sentenced to seven years in jail for causing the crash that claimed Melissa's sister's life, with a non-parole period of two years, but seeing him plead guilty did not ease her family's grief.
It didn't bring Kristina back.
With every year that passes, there are birthdays, family occasions and anniversaries that bring fresh pain.
"Every year that passes we miss her and think about her," Melissa said.
"It doesn't get any easier.
"I've lost a best friend and a sister."
Imagining Kristina's last moments, alone in a car flooded with water, is devastating for the family.
They prefer to think of her as she was. Melissa uses words like fun-loving; family-oriented; kind.
Melissa said Kristina loved being an aunty and was devoted to her nieces and nephews, never missing a special occasion, turning up for every birthday and every first day at school.
Some of her favourite memories of her sister include the love she had for Melissa's children.
"She always had time for them," she said.
"It didn't matter if she had something to do, if it involved them she was there.
"She was a big part of our family. She was our rock.
"She always saw the bright side of life."
Melissa said sometimes it felt like it had been much longer than 10 years since Kristina's death.
She said the family had been on a rollercoaster ride after what had happened, trying to manage a grief that they were never quite able to come to terms with.
One balm for Melissa and her family is that Kristina is far from forgotten.
In the streets of Rockhampton, where both girls grew up, Melissa is still stopped by Kristina's friends who always make sure to say hello.
"She meant a lot to so many people."
It would be easy to dwell on the question of why something so terrible happened to someone they loved so much.
Melissa said Edward was "a charmer" and Kristina saw the best in everyone.
It was one of the things she admired most about her sister.
Trying to imagine the pain Melissa would have felt the night Edward called her to tell her he had killed her sister is impossible, but her words are simple and eloquent.
"My heart just instantly broke," she said.
"The fact that he left her in the car - you don't do that to someone you supposedly love."
Melissa's mother died last year, having never fully recovered from the loss of her youngest daughter.
"It hit her really, really hard. Krissy was her pride and joy."