Family, friends gather for impromptu memorial

A TRIBUTE Facebook site to a Launceston teenager who drowned in Queensland at the weekend has been joined by hundreds of people wanting to farewell the popular girl.

More than 150 comments remembering Katelyn Taylor, 19, have been posted on the site with hundreds of other tributes appearing elsewhere on Facebook.

Yesterday afternoon an impromptu memorial involving her parents who travelled to Queensland was held on the beach at Marcoola where Ms Taylor lost her life.

Police believe the Summerhill girl drowned in unsuspicious circumstances on the Sunshine Coast early Sunday.

A statement form Queensland Police's media unit said Ms Taylor had been socialising with friends at Marcoola Beach before her death.

The former St Patrick's College student had just relocated to Queensland to chase her dream of becoming a primary school teacher.

Police believe Ms Taylor entered the water some time between 3am and 5am.

A member of the public notified police after discovering her body on the beach's shore.

A man who had been socialising with Ms Taylor and others at Mooloolaba and then the beach crashed his car nearby about 3am, police said.

The 21-year-old Marcoola man sustained head and leg injuries when he lost control and drove into a parked vehicle.

The sole occupant was airlifted to hospital with life threatening injuries and last night remained in a coma.

Detectives from Maroochydore's criminal investigation branch said they were treating both incidents as unsuspicious.

Family and friends have remembered Katelyn Taylor as a vivacious girl with a passion for life.

Ms Taylor worked at Launceston's Hudsons Coffee and Health and Fitness World before starting a bachelor of primary education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann offered "heartfelt condolences" to grieving family and friends, saying the university community had been affected by her death.

Tributes for Ms Taylor arrived from as far as the US.

The Catalano family expressed sorrow that the girl who had befriended their daughter at university had died.

"We here in the United States want you to know we are mourning the loss of your beautiful girl too," the family posted on Facebook.

Former Hudsons Coffee colleague Kahlia Perry posted:

"It's been two days since your beautiful soul was taken away, and like many others I still can't begin to comprehend."

Health and Fitness World also paid tribute to its former employee.

"A tragic accident has taken this young life, but the memory of this beautiful girl will live on in our hearts forever."

On Monday, about 60 family and friends gathered in Royal Park to release balloons in memory of Ms Taylor.

Local media has reported that Marcoola Beach had been battered with rough seas as a result of ex- tropical cyclone Lucy in the lead- up to Sunday.

A report was being prepared for the coroner.

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