‘My gut told me my baby was gone’
WHILE teenage boys on the Gold Coast pick out what they are going to wear to their school formal, Erryn Grant says she's been selecting a headstone for her late son Jase.
The 15-year-old lost his life in a car accident at Oxenford in May and his mother says she desperately needs answers.
Jase, known as Jasey to some of his friends, was a passenger in a Mitsubishi Lancer that crashed on Tamborine-Oxenford Road on May 20. The car was being driven by a 17-year-old P-plater.
"The best thing I could hope for, for Christmas, is for some answers," Ms Grant said.
"The other boys would have just had to pick out what they were going to wear to their formal. I have been picking out a headstone for Jase. Stuff like that breaks me."
The car was carrying two other teens when it collided with a ute containing a mother and her two children in the early afternoon.
The force of the collision collapsed the driver-side passenger door, where Jase was sitting.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police investigations are continuing and no charges have been laid. Police at the time of the crash said speed was a factor.
"Some days are better than others, some days it is impossible to get out of bed," Ms Grant said.
She said she had not had any contact with the others injured in the crash.
"I never met these boys, or their families … so to them Jase is a memory and I am a name.
It is very traumatic in itself, the not knowing."
"For now the future for me is getting answers. Beyond that I just can't fathom.
"My 15-year-old son was a rear-seat passenger with a seatbelt on. He is and always will be an innocent."
Ms Grant was over 1000km away in the NSW coastal town of Ulladulla when she received the Sunday afternoon call that her son had died.
Jase had moved to the Gold Coast at the start of 2018 to live with his aunty and uncle.
He had been enrolled at Pimpama State Secondary College with the hope of developing academically and musically.
Ms Grant was sitting down to an NRL game with Jase's step dad Scott when she noticed two missed calls from her sister.
"The game had not long started, I returned her call, to which an ambulance officer answered and said there had been a major accident and it was critical," Ms Grant said.
She said she remembered grabbing her bag and sprinting on to the road in shock.
"In my head I was running to Queensland … I had not even been told who or what, but my gut told me that my baby was gone.
"I lost it. I had a breakdown in the main street of Ulladulla."
Ms Grant said she felt the loss of her talented son every waking second.
"On the day that Jase was killed he had actually auditioned for the youth music venture up there.
"It wasn't until after he passed away that we found out he had gotten through the auditions."
Jase was buried in his hometown of Ulladulla a week after the incident. A month later his school held a memorial for the young man.
"I didn't go, I wasn't ready to leave Jase again. Last time he left me he was killed."
Jase's estranged father Matty Staples had only just been in contact with his son months before his death.
He said he was taking each day at a time having "lost his son for a second time".
"In the past five months I've progressively slid into a bit of a depression trying to better myself to honour my son Jase but find it hard to live positively when the only thing I want to live for is gone."
Mr Staples said the memorial held by Pimpama State Secondary College the month after his death brought him to tears.
"It was amazing, like a fete, a very touching memorial."
"I am well aware of the temptation for young drivers to push boundaries and show off to mates. The fact of it is a lot of the time a crash is not the outcome so reckless drivers fail to grasp the deadly potential a motor vehicle.
"There are so many tiny variable factors that it is just not worth it.
"Life is too short honestly, as too short for my son and now the rest of mine is going to be long and lonely without him."