‘I love you mum’: Son’s last words before road tragedy
The shattered parents of one of three kids killed in a horror crash on the Gold Coast last weekend have made an emotional plea to other young drivers: "Please, slow the hell down."
Arthur and Krystan Thompson issued the appeal through tears of grief as they struggled to come to terms with the loss of their son Bryton, 21.
Mrs Thompson shared special memories of Bryton, including loving Facebook messages from him and a photo of him gently pushing her in her wheelchair into the Airlie Beach lagoon to cool off on a family cruise last Christmas.
She also showed off the shiny gold Apple watch he bought for her birthday with his tax return last month.
"His last words to me was Sunday morning when he yelled out across the street: "I love you Mum."
Bryton, his cousin Jamie Hunter, also 21, and Jamie's girlfriend Marnie Zuk, 17, died in the crash only a couple of kilometres from the Thompsons' Pimpama home.
A 28-year-old man in another vehicle suffered serious pelvic injuries in the tragedy on Rifle Range Rd on Sunday night.
It was the second multiple fatality on the Gold Coast in weeks after four university friends were killed in a crash at Advancetown last month.
"We want other boys and girls to please, slow the hell down," said Mr Thompson, a truck driver.
"There should not be any more fatalities; there can't be any more fatalities
"There will be (because) everyone makes mistakes - everyone's done something stupid.
"But it kills. We just want everyone to slow down. Just be more cautious. The road is not a racetrack."
Bryton was driving his 'pride and joy' Subaru in which he and the others died, and police have said they are investigating if speed was a factor.
But while their son was a car enthusiast, Mr and Mrs Thompson said he was 'definitely not' a hoon.
They said reports that Bryton may have been driving at speeds of up to 150km/h were unfair with the police investigation ongoing.
"Doing that speed on that stretch of road just doesn't make sense, especially considering Bryton wouldn't do that," Mrs Thompson said.
"We don't know what happened and we may never know."
Mr Thompson said: "We don't know if he hit a rock or a pothole or gravel or had some sort of altercation."
"All we know is that Bryton was a very skilled and experienced driver," he said.
"He'd done all the defensive driving courses and would double-check everything on the car.
"He was absolutely fanatical about it."
Bryton spent most of Sunday helping Jamie fix his car 'to make sure he was safe on the road', Mr Thompson said.
He was meant to have dinner with his girlfriend at Marsden that night but when he failed to turn up, she rang the Thompsons, who were in Surfers Paradise.
The 'Find My Friends' app on Mrs Thompson's phone revealed that Bryton was on Rifle Range Rd. But as they neared the scene, they were stopped by police.
"I knew in my heart that it wasn't right," Mr Thompson said.
"I went back there on Monday after it happened. I could barely walk, I could barely breathe knowing that Bryton was gone."
The Thompsons remembered Bryton as a devoted son and loving brother to his siblings, including his disabled brother Jayden who died in 2010.
"Bryton had a heart of gold and thought the world of everyone, and they all thought the world of him," Mr Thompson said.
"He was close to the perfect child from birth and just so easy to raise.
"Cars, scouting and family were his passions. He loved driving and travel and was always up for some kind of adventure. And pleasing others - he would do anything for anyone."
Bryton doted on his mother, whose disability confines her to a wheelchair.
"He was definitely a mummy's boy - there's absolutely nothing he wouldn't do for her," Mr Thompson said.
Originally published as 'I love you mum': Son's last words before triple-fatal tragedy