Parents of writer killed in Outback arrive in Sydney

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - Page 3

The parents of Taiwanese travel writer Lin Ya-ruo (林亞若), who was killed on Sunday by a bus in Australia’s Northern Territory, have arrived in Sydney to handle their daughter’s funeral arrangements.

Lin’s mother and father plan to head out today for Alice Springs, where the 31-year-old former flight attendant was struck by a tour bus while riding a bicycle.

Taiwanese diplomatic officials in the country said they will accompany Lin’s parents on the trip and offer their assistance in arranging for the cremation of her body.

“Although my daughter lived such a short life, we are very proud of her,” Lin’s father, who requested not to be named, told reporters.

With a background in nursing, Lin was also a devoted volunteer at medical missions in Malawi in 2006 and in the Philippines in 2010, her father said.

“All the good things she has done for the world will last forever,” he said.

Lin’s mother said she arrived with her daughter in Sydney on Oct. 20, but returned alone leaving Lin to set out on her solo bike trip through the Outback.

“Although she took up this challenge alone, she was well-prepared and knew how to make tents and assemble her bike before embarking,” said her mother, who also requested not to have her name published.

She remembered Lin as an independent adventurer with a passion for outdoor activities. Her parents encouraged Lin to pursue her dreams of travel, they said.

Lin gave up her job as a China Airlines flight attendant in January to focus on her travel career. A popular blogger and TV personality, she has carried the national flag on trips to Africa and India to promote her country.

She set out on what would become her final adventure on Sunday morning, leaving for Alice Springs from Curtain Springs, a 350km journey.

After night fell about 100km in, Lin, who was wearing dark clothing and riding a black bike, was hit by a tourist bus around 9pm, local police said.

Mick Schumacher, an officer investigating the tragic event, told ABC radio that neither alcohol nor high speeds were to blame in the tragic accident.

The bus driver did not spot Lin because the high-beams were turned off as a vehicle was approaching from the other direction, he said. Lin was wearing a headlamp at the time of the accident, but it remains to be determined whether she had a light on the back of her bike, and the investigation is ongoing, he said.

Just one week earlier, Lin posted a photo of herself in a bikini to her Facebook page, jokingly suggesting the photo could be a memorial at her funeral if she did not survive the desert trek.

Lin is best known for authoring a 2009 digital book, My Crazy India, on her experience traveling through 40 cities across the south Asian country. She also earned a fan following for her Facebook posts and appearances on local TV programs.