The kind hearts and cheeky antics of an Australian couple killed in a Uganda motorcycle accident will never be forgotten, their family says.
Dean and Tanya Griffioen were killed in a head-on collision on the Mubende Hwy in central Uganda on Tuesday.
Local police say the couple, aged 33 and 34, were killed when their motorbike was struck by a four-wheel-drive, which crossed over to their side of the road when it was overtaking another vehicle.
Dean died instantly while Tanya died on the way to hospital. The driver of the 4WD is still on the run.
Their family are “paralysed” by their sudden deaths.
“These two fun-loving, adventurous spirits worked hard to live their dreams,” the family said in a statement on Thursday.
“They were at the beginning of an amazing three-year journey that was unfairly cut short.”
The couple had ridden through Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi before arriving in Uganda.
The Griffioens documented the journey on a Flickr Photostream titled “One life is all you get”.
“Dean and Tanya have touched countless people in so many different ways, from family, friends and colleagues to strangers in foreign lands,” the family said.
“Their kind hearts and cheeky antics will never be forgotten by anyone who has encountered them.”
“‘One life is all you get’ (as they have named their blog) – and there is no doubt that the 33-year-old civil engineer and his perfectly matched 34-year-old wife filled their lives with unparalleled experiences all over the world.”
The couple’s bodies will soon be repatriated to Melbourne, where their family lives.
The Australian consulate in Uganda picked up the bodies of the Griffioens on Wednesday from the Mubende hospital mortuary. The town is more than 100km from the capital Kampala.
Area traffic police chief Alex Muramuzi said police had contacted the Australian consulate in Kampala and arrangements were made to retrieve the bodies.
A consular official said the bodies would first to be taken to Mulago Hospital for post-mortems and preparations before being repatriated to Australia.
Mr Muramuzi said police were still hunting for the hit-and-run driver, adding: “We will definitely get him. We will co-operate with the organisation which register vehicles to track him.”