The Australian technology and media industry has been shocked by the tragic news of social media and tech guru Leslie Nassar (pictured above left), who was allegedly the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in the US over the weekend.
Tributes are flowing in on social media for Nassar, who was best known for his creation and management of TweeVee TV, which was responsible for moderating tweets on Q&A, and his satirical column at Crikey, Department of Australia.
Per the ABC, Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy described Nassar as the “engineering genius behind Q&A” on Twitter.
“His work helped Q&A involve viewers across Australia as well as panellists and politicians in a truly national conversation,” McEvoy said in a statement.
“It breaks my heart to think of all the brilliant ideas that will never be realised without his talent. He was a great colleague, a dear friend and a proud father and husband.”
Nassar was also the co-founder and director of Sydney-based digital product agency Wrangling Cats, with Andrea Horton, who has since launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Nassar’s family, which has already exceeded $8,000.
“Our thoughts are with Leslie’s wife, three beautiful daughters and his loved ones,” Horton wrote in a statement confirming the death, per ABC.
“The gap that has been left is one that is truly impossible to fill.
“In private he was a gentle, compassionate soul with a fierce love for his family and loyalty to his friends, while at work he was a passionate and creative genius, dedicated to using new technologies in weird and wonderful new ways that seemed impossible until Leslie made them a reality with an understated aplomb.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesperson told the ABC that the department has been providing consular assistance to the family of “an Australian man killed in the United States”, and is in the process of determining the welfare of his children.
It was believed his two daughters were with him at the time of the incident, and were also injured but have since been released from hospital. They are aged three and eight.
Local media organisation KVTB claimed a 20-year-old man had been taken into the Canyon County Jail regarding a charge of leaving the scene of an injury crash, as well as reporting that police think alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Friends, colleagues and the media industry have shared their condolences and sorrow on Twitter:
— Peter McEvoy (@petermcevoy) October 23, 2016
Adding my voice to the chorus of grief for @leslienassar, who was so scary-smart, talented, funny and just such a nice bloke. So so so sad.
— Sally Jackson (@Sally_Jackson) October 23, 2016
— Tony Broderick ? (@brod) October 23, 2016
Very sad to hear reports about the passing of @leslienassar He had a world class brain and stunning wit.
— Marc Fennell (@marcfennell) October 23, 2016
rip Leslie Nassar. Brilliant mind and irreplaceable sense of humour. Thoughts go out to his family 🙁
— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) October 23, 2016
Here is the official GoFundMe page for Leslie Nassar. Please share and contribute if you can.https://t.co/MJeTmznHqt
— Andrea H (@giggleminx) October 23, 2016
Lead image source: ABC