Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King died in a New Year's Day car crash north of Gympie.
Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King died in a New Year's Day car crash north of Gympie. Contributed

Mum's grief raw for son lost to Bruce Hwy crash

THE sight of young drivers breaking road rules like they are bulletproof gives Fiona King shivers as she struggles to overcome the crash death of her son Samuel.

Mr King, 21, was on his way back from New Year's Eve celebrations at Mooloolaba to his family's temporary Maryborough home on January 1 when tragedy struck.

He fell asleep, drifted onto the wrong side of the Bruce Hwy and crashed into an oncoming four-wheel-drive at Chatsworth, north of Gympie.

His family had only moved away from the Coast a fortnight earlier having been in the region for Mr King's entire life.

Ms King said her son had initially planned to stay on the Coast for a few more days so she was unaware he was on his way home.

A phone call from police changed her life forever.

"Nothing could have prepared me for them to say he was in a motor vehicle accident," Ms King said.

 

Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King died in a New Year's Day car crash north of Gympie.
Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King died in a New Year's Day car crash north of Gympie. Contributed

Straight away she thought her son would be in hospital but that was not the case.

Police told her he had died.

"I couldn't stand.

"You feel like you want to die."

She said blood tests had shown her son was not impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"It was pure tiredness."

 

Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King with his sisters Annalise (left) and Leticia.
Former Sunshine Coast man Samuel King with his sisters Annalise (left) and Leticia. Contributed

 

Mr King was working as a roof tiler after graduating from Sunshine Beach State High School. He was also a talented touch football player.

Ms King said she no longer enjoyed driving and struggled when she saw young drivers speeding.

"It gives me shivers to see them flying along in these little cars that have got no chance."

"He (Samuel) was a good driver but you are not much good if you are asleep," Ms King said.

She said her year had been a "write-off".

"The grief of losing a child - you don't want to get out of bed in the mornings."

She said she couldn't work and had started studying to keep her mind busy.

"I've just gone back to uni so I'm engaged in something.

"It will be a while before I am a complete, functioning person again."