Backpacker crushed by ride-on mower

QUEENSLAND Workplace Health and Safety are continuing investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old German backpacker.

Described by friends as a "strong woman", Jennifer Kohl is the latest backpacker to die while working on an Australian farm after she was crushed by a ride-on lawnmower.

On December 8, Ms Kohl and a male were on the ride-on mower when it rolled off the side of a hill and pinned her beneath it.

Emergency services rushed to the Macdonnell Rd property in Tamborine Mountain but she died at the scene.

Ms Kohl, of Leipzig, Germany, had been working at an avocado farm on the Gold Coast hinterland for a second year working holiday visa.

The program, which sees thousands of foreigners travel to remote and rural locations to work on farms for an extra year in Australia, has become increasingly controversial after a spate of fatal accidents and murders.

Speaking to the Brisbane Times, one of Ms Kohl's best friends, Mathias, said she had "enriched" his life.

"She was my best friend for over 10 years and she accompanied me through good and bad times," he told the publication.

"She was the one who gave me the power and motivation not to give up over and over again in just a unique way that I never seen before.

"She really meant (a) lot to me and with the news of her death I definitely lost a part of my life ... but she taught me to be a fighter and this is something I thank her (for). I will remember her as a strong woman, as someone who has enriched my life and I'm happy and proud to have met her."

Jennifer Kohl died after she was crushed by a ride-on mower
Jennifer Kohl died after she was crushed by a ride-on mower

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said investigations into Ms Kohl's death are ongoing and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Ms Kohl's death is yet another tragedy tainting Australia's controversial backpacker industry.

In August last year, 20-year-old Mia Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed to death by a French backpacker in north Queensland while working for her second year working holiday visa.

Another backpacker, 30-year-old Thomas Jackson, was also killed trying to protect Mia as she was repeatedly stabbed.

In March, Mia's mother Rose launched a scathing attack against Australia's second year working holiday visa program.

In an article for The Telegraph UK, Ms Ayliffe-Chung said the visa program is "so badly run it often amounts to little more than modern-day slavery for these young adults".

"Put bluntly, they are exploited into carrying out Australians' dirtiest, unsafest work for them, in the most remote and inhospitable areas of that vast country," she wrote.



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