IN TERMS of personality, they were polar opposites.
Steven Halliwell, 8, loved the outdoors, football and playing with friends; Timothy Halliwell, 17, loved computers, reading science fiction and card games.
But put them in a room together and the two brothers “got along like a house on fire”.
The brothers, and their mother Margaret ‘Maggie’ Halliwell, 45, tragically died in a car crash on the Warrego Highway outside of Gatton on Monday afternoon.
Sifting through pictures of his beloved sons, devastated father Lindsay Halliwell said he would always remember his boys as two different but equally fun-loving children.
“It’s hard because you want to remember them, it just really, really hurts,” Mr Halliwell said.
“They were just so young, just kids. You can’t imagine something like this happening,” Mr Halliwell said.
“Knowing you’ll never see them again just breaks your heart.
“You can’t comprehend the pain.”
He said both boys were besotted with their mother, talking about her constantly, and that Margaret was an extremely dedicated mum.
Related: School grieves for lost family
Steven, a Year 3 student at Ipswich East State School, was mad for sport and playing outside with his friends, and with his dad would watch as many Brisbane Broncos games as possible.
At just 17, Tim had finished high school at Bundamba State Secondary College last year and was still deciding what he wanted to do for a career, but was known in the family as the technology expert.
Both loved being around water, and Mr Halliwell said he had fond memories of taking the boys on trips to the beach and to Wivenhoe Dam.
“The boys were completely different but despite the age difference they loved playing together and being around each other,” he said.
“They were wonderful kids like that.
“You could tell they loved each other and enjoyed being around other kids.”
Both lived with their mother Margaret and her partner Kimm Taylor in North Booval, and saw Mr Halliwell on holidays and weekends.
Mr Halliwell said he was still struggling to come to grips with their unexpected deaths.
“The first I heard about what had happened was when the police knocked on our door,” he said.
“Seeing them there, you just know it’s going to be bad news. Your whole world just gets thrown upside down in a second.”
His partner Janelle Meredith said she had seen a television news update mentioning the accident on the Warrego Highway ten minutes before police knocked on their door.
“It’s a terrible tragedy and just something we’ll have to deal with on a day-by-day basis,” she said.
“The support from friends and family – and the understanding of the police and coroner’s office – have been a great help.”
Mr Halliwell said he had no ill-feelings towards Mr Taylor, his former wife’s de-facto partner and the driver of the car in which his sons died. Mr Taylor was released from hospital on Tuesday.
“The kids had a great relationship with Kimm and he was very good to them,” Mr Halliwell said.
“An accident is an accident and there’s no point in blaming anyone for what happened no matter what caused it. You can’t bring the boys back with blame.”
Police are still investigating what caused the fatal crash.
Final details are to be confirmed but a funeral service for the boys and their mother is expected to take place this coming Monday.
Anyone interested in donating to the family to help cover the funeral costs can donate cash or write a cheque payable to the Queensland Times community chest trust.
Cheques can be sent to The QT, at PO Box 260, Ipswich, Qld, 4305, with attention Bernadette Mohr, who can be contacted on 3817 1719.
All donations will receive a receipt and will be passed on to the family.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.