TERRIGAL businessman Keith Collins was murdered in a shocking Hornsby restaurant stabbing on Wednesday night almost three years after his son died in a car crash at Ourimbah.
“They’ve lost a brother, now they’ve lost a father,” said Mary Bastick, who works at the Central Coast packaging company established by Mr Collins in 2009.
He died at the Kangnam BBQ restaurant at Westfield Hornsby on Wednesday after he was stabbed while on a first date with Jovi Pilapil, 45. Ms Pilapil’s estranged husband, Alexander Villaluna, has been charged with murder and the attempted murder of Ms Pilapil, who ran from the restaurant and collapsed from stab wounds to her chest.
In April 2013 Mr Collins’s son, Aaron, died of severe head injuries after the utility he was driving on Brush Road, Ourimbah, failed to negotiate a right hand corner and hit a tree.
Terrigal Wamberal Sharks Junior Rugby League Club president Ben Spackman said his son’s death while in his early 20s devastated Mr Collins, who spoke about it with him at league games.
“He was a positive person. He tried to keep positive about all that kind of stuff but it obviously had an impact,” Mr Spackman said.
The shocking nature of Mr Collins’ death was shattering, he said.
“I was told about it yesterday morning (Thursday) but I couldn’t really believe it. It was only when I saw his photo that it hit home it was Keith. The senselessness of it all. It’s not right. You shouldn’t be sitting there enjoying yourself and expect something like that,” he said.
Mr Collins, a father of three sons and a daughter, became a coach when his sons joined the Terrigal club, and later became its president. He remained a very strong supporter and major sponsor of Terrigal junior and senior league clubs and other Central Coast junior sports.
“It was all about the kids for Keith, always,” Mr Spackman said.
Terrigal Wamberal Sharks Rugby League Club president Mick Fell said the club’s senior side would wear black armbands for Sunday’s first game of the 2016 season at Terrigal’s home ground.
“It’s a very, very tragic loss,” Mr Fell said.
“It’s rocked not only our clubs but the community as a whole. Even people who didn’t know him recognise him because you’d see him around and at the football.
“I’ve known him for five or six years and he was a very loyal supporter of our club and junior sport across the coast. He was a very, very generous man.”
Mr Collins’s daughter, Aisling, posted a photo of him online, saying: “I love you more than anything dad, I'll forever be your girl no matter what.”