Friends mourn teen's tragic death
A BRIEF conversation about who would volunteer to go to the shops was the last time Sandy Carroll spoke to her beloved close friend.
Ms Carroll, 32, yesterday told of the heartache she’d suffered from the loss of 19-year-old Shaun Du Plessis who was killed by a car while walking along Hunter Street, Brassall, last Thursday.
Flatmates and inseparable pals for two years, Ms Carroll and Mr Du Plessis were sharing a house less than 70m from where the fatal crash happened.
As The Queensland Times reported last Friday, Mr Du Plessis was headed to the nearby service station to get a drink and had walked diagonally across the busy Brassall road when struck from behind by a white sedan.
Police said the driver had passed out because of a medical condition and swerved on to the wrong side of the road.
Ms Carroll’s nightmare began only minutes after Mr Du Plessis left the house.
“We were sitting at home having a joke,” she said yesterday. “I said to him ‘we need a drink brother’ and he said: ‘I’ll go.’
“He left and walked up the road and all I remember is hearing this mighty bang which sounded like a thousand guns going off all at once.”
Witnesses said the impact sent Mr Du Plessis’ body flying through the air.
Startled and confused, Ms Carroll ran up the road to see what had happened.
“I don’t know what it was but something was telling me something was wrong,” she said, fighting back tears.
“I looked across the road and saw this body lying in the gutter. I didn’t recognise him at first but then I noticed his tattoos.
“I ran across the road screaming.”
Although a faint pulse was detected immediately after the accident, there was little paramedics could do to save the teenager. He was pronounced dead a few minutes later.
“They just couldn’t help him anymore – that’s what they told me,” Ms Carroll said.
“From there on it has been one big nightmare.
“To be sitting there one minute, talking and laughing and joking and carrying on then to run up the road and see him laying there lifeless – I’ll never forget that.”
Ms Carroll begged police not to contact the teen’s mother to inform her of the death of her only child, insisting that she pass on the bad news.
His mother and father flew down from Hamilton Island last week to visit the scene of the accident and comfort Ms Carroll.
She said Mr Du Plessis was a lover of music, outgoing, funny and a role model to her four young children.
“When he answered his phone, he wouldn’t say hello like a normal person, he would always say the Japanese ‘moshi-moshi’,” Ms Carroll said. “He’d dance around the house and if you were upset, he would make you laugh – he was a character and a joker.
“He loved my kids and my kids adored him.”
Ms Carroll thanked everyone who offered their support, especially Brendon, Stacey and an unknown man who offered medical help after the accident. Sadly, she said a tribute to her friend near where he died was stolen before it was replaced and secured with zip ties.