Maleny schoolboy Wylee Byun died after an incident at Gardners Falls in Maleny.
Maleny schoolboy Wylee Byun died after an incident at Gardners Falls in Maleny.

Shattered mum's tribute to her 'kind, gentle' son

A POPULAR hinterland schoolboy is being remembered for his genuine, kind nature in a community devastated by his loss.

Wylee Byun, 15, was surrounded by his family when he died at Sunshine Coast University Hospital shortly after 8.30pm Thursday.

He had been flown there from Gardners Falls near Maleny after an incident about 2.50pm.

His mother Marnie Lee said she had driven straight from her work in Maleny to the hospital while his father Jimmy Byun had driven to the falls during Wylee's rescue.

She said coming to the realisation at the hospital their son's final hours were upon them was very traumatic but she was grateful for the help received from staff.

Ms Lee said her son loved playing rugby union for Caloundra Lighthouses, loved his electronics and enjoyed working as a kitchen-hand at Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny.

"He loved hanging out with his friends and doing work outs," Ms Lee said.

"He was a really kind, gentle person."

She said her son was due to travel to Japan later this month with some teammates for the Rugby World Cup.

She said Wylee was close with his younger sister Leela and even though they fought sometimes, she knew they loved each other fiercely.


Gardners Falls at Maleny. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Gardners Falls at Maleny. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Ms Lee said her son was interested in either joining the army or starting a mechanical apprenticeship.

"He had an idea of what he wanted to do in the future and was working towards that."

She said a lot of people had said a lot of kind things about Wylee since learning of his death but people had always said nice things about both her children.

"People stop and tell you and that is why we are so devastated today."

She wanted Wylee's friends to seek support through the difficult times ahead.

"The young guys need to know there are people out there to help them."

Ms Lee was grateful for the efforts of the mates and other people who were at the falls.

"I'm really proud of the guys around him and the actions they did and how hard they fought to keep him here."

Beerwah police officer-in-charge Tully Anderson said Wylee and some of his friends had been swinging off a rope swing.

"There is no indication he has hit anything at this stage," Acting Senior Sergeant Anderson said.

"It may have been a medical incident."

Maleny State High School principal Deborah Stewart said the school community was deeply shocked and saddened.

"He was a highly regarded young man who will be greatly missed by all his friends and teachers," Ms Stewart said.

"Our thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to his family, caregivers, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.

"Support is being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at the school to provide support in any way they can and for as long as it is needed."

Sunshine Coast police district officer Jason Overland said the incident was a tragedy.

"We will do a full investigation for the coroner and in due course hopefully all of the questions will be answered for the family."