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12 April 2011

Tributes flow for Goodna crash victims

 
TRIBUTES have flowed for the three young Ipswich mates killed in a car accident at Goodna.

Friends of Brittany Bramwell, Matt Prior and Nicholas Saxby leave tributes at the scene at Goodna.

TRIBUTES have flowed for the three young Ipswich mates killed in a car accident at Goodna.

Nick Saxby, 16, Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Matthew Prior, 18, died after the sedan they were travelling in was hit from the side by a utility.

Facebook sites dedicated to Matthew and Brittany attracted pages of messages from friends of the teenagers, while Nick's school – Ipswich State High – and Matthew's former workmates also spoke highly of the apprentice mechanic.

For the first time since the tragedy, Brittany's father Gregory also spoke to the Queensland Times.

Mr Bramwell was being comforted by members of his extended family at his Raceview home yesterday as he came to terms with the loss of his only child.

"Just terrific – that's what she was – I couldn't have asked for a better daughter," a shattered Mr Bramwell said.

"From the time she was a young girl she wanted to be a vet, and she'd just scored a distinction in her first vet course exam – I was tickled pink for her."

Mr Bramwell said he and his daughter were always close, but had formed an even stronger bond over the last eight years, following the death of Brittany's mother, Karen, to melanoma.

He said his belief in God and support from friends and family was helping him get through.

"I believe Brittany has gone to a better place – I know that from watching my wife die of cancer after an 18-month battle," he said.

Matthew's parents were not ready to speak about their son yesterday, however his former workmates at a Mt Ommaney mechanical workshop were full of praise for the second-year apprentice.

Workshop manager Steven Sellars said Matthew was known as a real character who loved a joke, but was also talented and would have made a great mechanic one day.

"He talked in a deep voice normally but would go into this high-pitched girly voice whenever he got excited," Mr Sellars said.

"He loved his cars – he had a little Mazda and just purchased a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle which was going to be his big project car.

"The news of his death has knocked us all for six – he was a good kid who will be missed by everybody here."

Nick was a Year 11 student at Ipswich State High, where students will build a memorial plaque and are planning to hold a "yellow" day in his honour tomorrow.

Ipswich High principal Simon Riley said Nick was a popular member of the Year 11 cohort.

"He was particularly interested in a career in the building industry and was currently engaged in one of the 'live work' projects that we have around school as part of the Certificate 1 in construction course," Mr Riley said.

"He had completed his White Card and was actively seeking a school-based apprenticeship in the industry."

Students and staff will represent the school at Nicholas' funeral.

Brittany's boyfriend, 17-year-old Alex Mayfield, was driving the vehicle but somehow survived the horrendous impact.

The extent of his injuries was unknown, however a spokesman from the Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed he did not require transport to hospital.

The four close friends had been having a fun night out together at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast on Friday, and were headed home on their normal back-roads route through Goodna.

"They liked to go that way because they thought the highway was boring – they would always go that way but always drive slowly, just cruise along," Mr Bramwell said.

"They were just going along and this person T-boned them. I have already spoken to Alex's family and told them that I know it's not his fault and not to let him think I'm going to blame him for anything.

"I know that he loved my daughter."

Police investigating the smash have sought public assistance in identifying the occupants of a third vehicle, which they believed may have been involved in an altercation with the driver of the dark coloured Toyota Hilux a short time before it slammed into the teenagers' sedan.

The vehicles, a white Toyota Hilux utility and the dark coloured Toyota Hilux, were last seen in Bertha St, Goodna.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on    1800 333 000      .

More Ipswich News: www.QT.com.au

 

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