Gone too soon, friends mourn another life lost on our roads

Natasha Riley, died in car crash February 4, 2015
Natasha Riley, died in car crash February 4, 2015

A BEAUTIFUL young girl with the world at her feet, Natasha Riley has been taken too soon.

The community is mourning the untimely death of the 17-year-old Buderim girl who became the fourth person to die on Sunshine Coast roads this year.

Natasha was a backseat passenger in her friend's car when it careened off a gravel road at Old Caloundra Rd, Landsborough, on Wednesday afternoon.

A witness from a nearby rural property phoned emergency services but it was too late for Natasha . She died from her injuries almost instantly after bearing the brunt of the impact when the car hit two trees.

Natasha graduated from Mountain Creek State High last year and was looking forward to her life after school.

Her Facebook page is scattered with photos with friends, beach days and graduation celebrations.

As news spread of her untimely passing, online tributes started to flow for Tash. Her friends and family were too distraught to speak publicly yesterday.

"Such a beautiful young girl....I'm so so sorry! Natasha's family now have lost a wonderful daughter," Debbie Bishop wrote.

Flowers at the scene of the crash.
Flowers at the scene of the crash. Patrick Woods

"Seeing friends hurting over her makes me hurt right along with them. RIP Gurl! And to all my buddies who are caught up in the pain I am here for you," Blake Lamb said.

Floral tributes started to build at the crash scene yesterday, as friends and family came together to mourn.

Natasha's friends in the front driver and passenger seats - a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl - remained in Nambour General Hospital late yesterday in a stable condition.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

Skid marks remained etched in the gravel and dirt road.

It is expected officers from the Forensic Crash Unit will speak with the driver early next week about just what went wrong.

Fatal crash victim Tash Riley. Photo: Facebook
Fatal crash victim Tash Riley. Photo: Facebook Contributed

The Landsborough crash echoed the devastation of the death of teenager Hope Dell, who died in a single-vehicle crash at Caloundra just before Christmas.

Her mum, Faye Read, posted powerful words on the "RIP Hope Dell" Facebook page to offer condolences to Tash's family.

"It just breaks my heart to be reading details of the accident and seeing the similarities to Hope's passing," Faye said.

"We go through life at such a busy pace - if only we could slow everything down for just a moment or two and learn to appreciate it that way.

"Please take care on the roads - drive with care and the intent that you're going to get home safely to your loved ones."

Firefighter David Woods, who attended the fatal crash on Wednesday, said it was another stark reminder why it was important for young drivers to take it easy, resist temptation to succumb to peers and keep eyes on the road.

"It still hits home every time we go to a crash like this, especially because we've had a run of young people lately," the operations manager said. "The message is to slow down to be prepared for the road conditions. Don't be influenced by your peers - you're in charge of that vehicle, you're responsible of that vehicle and the people in it. Cars can be lethal. They have to be treated with respect."

Topics:  fatal fatal crash

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