THE students and staff at Gympie's St Patrick's College are in shock and mourning this week following the tragic death of former student Jimmy Bryant, 17, in a single vehicle crash 10km south of Biloela.
The sedan Jimmy and four of his Biloela classmates were travelling in rolled off the road at the weekend, killing Jimmy and seriously injuring one other person, who was airlifted with suspected spinal injuries.
Jimmy, who had only recently secured an apprenticeship, was a lively and happy young man and a popular school leader.
His sudden death has been keenly felt at St Patrick's. At Biloela State High School, he was a house captain, student mentor and member of the cricket team.
In response to the tragedy, a Facebook fundraising page has been established to raise money for his devastated family, called In Loving Memory of Jimmy Bryant.
Tributes from friends, family and classmates have flowed on Facebook, including that he was "one heck of an amazing angel" and "a true friend".
"He touched so many, with his, infectious laugh, crazy antics and beautiful soul."
St Patrick's College principal Karen Harrison reached out to college families yesterday after speaking with the principal of Biloela State High.
"As you can appreciate, the community is in shock with the sudden passing of Jimmy and their thoughts are also with the other passengers who are recovering from the accident," Mrs Harrison said.
"The families, friends and community members of Biloela and the high school are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
"Jimmy, if he continued his enrolment at the College, would have been in Year 12 this year.
"He shared his learning with our seniors during St Patrick's Primary and until Year 9 at the College.
"Mr Adie is very mindful of the connections the College has with Jimmy and the Bryant family. He offered his sympathies to us at this time and especially asked that his email below be forwarded to our staff and Jimmy's friends- the Year 12 students."
"Can I please remind you that grief is a challenging emotion.
"Sometimes you can be confused by emotions of anger, guilt, loss and love that seems difficult to understand.
"You may feel the need to question the loss of a well-loved person. This is very normal.
"However, we all grieve in different ways and it is not for us to judge others in how to do so. Please respect the grief of others at this time.
"The Chapel is available for your use during recess time for prayer and reflection. Thank you to our Year 12 boys who prepared prayer for our own College family today."
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