For the love of our Jimmy - young man's saving legacy
JIMMY Bryant was "ripped off" - his life stolen from him by a car crash which his mother believes might not have happened if he had done the defensive driving course at Gympie's Roadcraft centre.
"He had all his dreams and plans. We were all ripped off," his Gympie mum Barb said yesterday.
Barb Bryant-Dunshea says her son died in a low-speed crash from which other vehicle occupants walked away.
Just 10 days after getting his P-plates, the 17-year-old was driving a friend home.
"It was a 100km/h road and police said he was only doing about 60km/h, in muddy conditions."
The car lost traction, turned on its axis so it was facing backwards and rolled.
Jimmy suffered a fatal injury.
"Road traffic investigation found the accident was due to poor road conditions," she said.
But that has not made her grief any easier to bear over the past two years.
What has helped though, is her campaign to spread the Roadcraft driver safety message throughout Queensland and Australia.
She said lack of experience was a factor in her son's death and a Roadcraft course might have saved him.
"When his accident happened, it left a massive void in our lives," she said. "It feels like a lifetime since I have seen him. "In a conversation with Jimmy just days before his accident, he said we need to be doing road safety courses," she said.
She founded Jimmy Bryant's Outback Youth Support and now many of Jimmy's mates have made their lives safer by doing a Roadcraft course.
The JBOYS charity focuses on teaching senior students better road safety, and Mrs Bryant-Dunshea says it has put more than 140 boys through the Gympie Roadcraft defensive driving course.
And as part of her son's legacy, she says the group is now attracting support to build a Roadcraft-style facility at Biloela, where Jimmy was based at the time of his death.
She said Jimmy's employers at ThinkWater, Peter and Sue Kurtz had been "emotional, physical and financial supporters".
So had CS Energy, owner of the Callide power station. She said students within a four-hour radius would be invited to the facility, to train for survival and safety on the roads. A caravan course would also be established, to include older drivers.
Mrs Bryant- Dunshea said it was time Australians stopped taking road trauma and death for granted and realised, one death on the roads is too many.