Port Lincoln mourns loss of local boy

LETTING GO: People let go of balloons as they pay their respects to the boy who died in a tragic accident in Port Lincoln last week. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
LETTING GO: People let go of balloons as they pay their respects to the boy who died in a tragic accident in Port Lincoln last week. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

The Port Lincoln community has mourned the loss of a local boy who died in a tragic accident last week, with support shown to the family.

The community was rocked last week following news a 13-year-old boy had died in an accident involving a garbage truck last Tuesday.

Up to 200 people gathered near the Port Lincoln Jetty on Friday evening for a vigil in memory of the boy, which included friends and family.

The group made their way up the foreshore and up Eyre Street, making their way to the memorial site set up near the car park off Napoleon Street, where the accident took place.

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Police assisted with traffic control as people made their way to the site.

As if the heavens were crying itself rain fell as people placed candles and items at the memorial site before releasing blue balloons in the air, followed by a moment's silence.

Family representative CJ Dodd said the death had impacted the family and had been felt amongst family members, including in Port Lincoln and further up the West Coast.

He said there had been a great show of support from the community and the family appreciated all who came out to pay their respects.

"Today was a beautiful tribute for the young boy," he said.

"On behalf of the family I'd like to thank everybody for coming out tonight and showing their love and support.

Questions had been raised, particularly on social media about the boys involved in the accident and how they ended up sleeping in an industrial bin before it was collected by an unknowing garbage truck driver.

Mr Dodd reiterated the boy was well loved by his family and his community and he will be sadly missed.

He said he was a lovely boy who loved camping and fishing.

As for comments and questions raised on social media, he said people did not know the full story and assured he was loved by those close to him.

"He had a cheeky smile...he was always happy, full of joy," he said.

"People are going to judge but they don't see the love...they don't know the community and the family."

Mr Dodd said people should always be kind children in the street, offer a smile and say hello.

Many in the community has rallied to support the boy's family, including food and financial support.

West Coast Youth and Community Support has been raising money to assist the family with funeral and associated costs.

WCYCS chief executive officer Jo Clark said the organisation was honoured to sit down with the family and discuss what meaningful ways it could support them and honour his life.

"We put a Facebook fundraiser together where all proceeds will be directly provided to the family for the funeral and other associated costs at this tragic time," she said.

"It's amazing and humblingto see so many people in the community give so generously, whether it's food, donations and other financial contributions as well as see so many people turn out for the vigil, organised by a community member."

Mallee Park Football Club also around their junior footballers at the weekend during matches at Wangary out of respect for the late boy.

People can donate to the fundraiser by visiting the West Coast Youth and Community Support Facebook page.

NOTE: We are adhering to the wishes of the family and will not be naming or showing images of the deceased.

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