Memorial bid for tragic teens
THE mother of one of three teenagers killed in a horrific traffic crash is campaigning for a permanent tribute to the victims.
Robyn Prior, whose 18-year-old son Matthew was the oldest of three mates who died on April 8 this year, said she wanted to make sure the tragic incident was not forgotten.
She has already been in talks with Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale to create a modest memorial in the Goodna Park directly across the road from the crash site.
"We would just like to have a simple rock and a plaque," Mrs Prior said.
"Just to make sure they are not forgotten, and also to remind people to obey the road rules, stick to the speed and don't drink drive.
"If everyone did that I'd still have my son."
Matthew and his friends Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Nick Saxby, 16, were killed when a ute driven by an alleged drunk driver went through a red light and smashed into the side of their Mitsubishi Lancer at the intersection of Brisbane Rd and Layard St.
The teens were on their way home from Dreamworld, where they had spent the evening celebrating the birthday of Nick's older sister.
Family and friends have already left a prominent floral tribute to the dead, which is constantly refreshed and added onto.
However, Mrs Prior said the existing tribute was in a dangerous position on the busy intersection and said it would make sense to shift across the road into Leslie Park.
"I have talked to Cr Pisasale about it," she said.
"Whatever they could provide we would be happy with - but we'd be prepared to do something ourselves if we can get permission to use the site.
"This tragedy has had a big effect on the community and I think it is important that they are remembered in some way."
The idea has the support of Nick's mother, Raquel Flack, who said she was preparing herself to revisit the crash site for the first time.
"I still to this day haven't returned - I haven't been able to bring myself to do it," Mrs Flack said.
"It has been really hard for the whole family."
Cr Pisasale said he and Councillor Paul Tully, whose division covers the area, would meet with the grieving families to discuss the idea.
"There are of course issues with Main Roads and other government departments, but this is a sensitive situation and we plan to deal with it in a sensitive way," he said.
"I see no problem with family members having somewhere to go and pay their respects."
The driver accused of causing the deaths of the three teens is due to appear in court again next week.