Families grieve for teenage boys killed in crash
THREE North Queensland families are grieving after their teenage sons died in a horror crash near Tully.
Braydan Carter-Mathews, 19, a Cairns resident from the Burdekin, Ryan Beckman, 19, and Shawn Wood, 18, both from Ayr, lost their lives in a single vehicle crash 30km west of Tully on Saturday.
Nineteen-year-old Tom Breen from Ayr, was in a critical condition last night, fighting for his life in Townsville Hospital.
Ryan's father Gavin said Tom was a great kid with a great sense of humour.
"He loved his mates … they wouldn't be far from each other. Always backing each other up," Mr Beckman said.
It is understood the four boys were out celebrating Ryan's new permanent position at a banana farm on Friday night before the crash.
A passing fisherman discovered the teenager's semi-submerged vehicle upside down in the Tully River, on Tully Gorge Rd shortly after 1pm on Saturday.
"He was so excited and looking forward to getting a loan to get a new car … as you know it's hard without a permanent job," Ryan's aunty Debbie Hood said.
Ryan worked as a casual employee at the farm for 18 months, with Tom and Shawn.
Braydan was visiting Tully for the weekend from Cairns.
Tom, Ryan and Braydan were long time friends that grew up together and attended Ayr State High School.
Mr Beckman said he would remember his eldest son as a "go getter" who loved his family and mates.
"A parent should never have to bury a child and their lives were taken too soon, the boys had their whole life in front of them. This is pure heartache," he said.
Mr Beckman said the boys were typical 'boys being boys', working on banana farms during the day and making memories and new friendships with backpackers on the weekends.
"The boys had a great friendship together, it was very rare to see them not together … 'one in all in'," he said.
Ayr State High School principal Craig Whittred said the community was saddened by the tragic event.
"The boys involved were much-loved members of the Ayr High family. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends at this terrible time," he said.
"We have provided extra support to our students and families today, and will continue to support them in the coming months."
Police are continuing their investigation into the crash.
Inspector Peter Flori said the incident was devastating for the community.
"Road trauma is something that affects the whole community," he said.
"We are approaching the school holidays and Easter periods and we're just asking the community to be very mindful of road safety, and to look and understand the Fatal Five and look after each other.
"The police enforcement cannot do this by ourselves, we need the community to help us to keep ourselves safe on the road."
Insp Flori said initial reports indicated speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors in the incident.