Le Vernet, AAP – Melbourne man Malcolm Coram, who lost his sister and nephew in the Germanwings disaster, says he is not angry about what happened and feels sorry for the parents of the co-pilot accused of deliberately crashing an Airbus A320 into the French Alps.
Mr Coram is preferring to think of the crash as an accident for now because it’s too painful to contemplate his relatives were murdered.
Carol Friday, 68, and her 29-year-old son Greig died almost a week ago when, prosecutors say, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane he was flying.
Mr Coram on Monday visited a memorial to them and the other 147 victims in the tiny French village of Le Vernet, near the crash site.
The refrigeration mechanic was joined by his daughters, Georgina and Philippa, who are nurse Carol’s nieces and acoustic engineer Greig’s cousins.
‘I’d dearly love to go up and just visit (the crash site) but we obviously can’t,’ Mr Coram told reporters after laying flowers at the modest stone memorial.
‘This is as close as we’re going to get.
‘It was very, very sad. You just sort of look at it (the memorial) and say a few words like ‘I love you’.’
Mr Coram said the entire family, including Carol’s husband Dave, was in shock.
‘Dave lost half his family in one second,’ he said, before adding: ‘You feel sorry for the parents of the pilot. Wow, how would you feel if your child did that?’
Carol’s other two brothers have remained in Australia ‘still in denial’, Mr Coram said.
‘We have decided to treat this as an accident at this stage and thus deny the perpetrator his wishes.
‘There’s never going to be conclusive proof of what happened. We like to think of it that way. It helps for us.
‘It’s better off being calm … there’s no point being angry. It’s happened.’
The Corams will stay in the Alps for a few days.
They have some paintings by Carol of the Australian bush they plan to leave at the memorial on Tuesday.
They’ll also read poems and letters from other family and friends.
Mr Coram then wants to return in September when he could reach the crash site on a new road being built to allow all-terrain vehicles to help transport body parts and remove some of the larger pieces of the Airbus.
‘I hope to get more members of the family over here in the next few months,’ he said on Monday.
Dave Friday and the couple’s daughter Alex were too devastated to travel to France this week.
Investigators have described the difficulty of searching the site as ‘unprecedented’ due to a combination of mountainous terrain and the violence of the impact.
Lubitz was treated for suicidal tendencies ‘several years ago’ before he received his pilot’s licence, German prosecutors said Monday.
But while they’ve declared the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane, Georgina Coram believes treating it as an accident, for now, makes coping a little easier.
‘The enormity of it right now – with that added emotion – was too much for us at this stage,’ she told reporters.
‘Maybe down the track we’ll be able to process the anger that comes up with thinking that someone did this on purpose and it’s essentially murder.’
Georgina said both Carol and Greig loved the outdoors and it helped to know ‘that their final resting place is at least somewhere beautiful’.