‘He just didn’t come home’: Heartbroken mum’s Christmas plea
FAR North mum Grace Smith still remembers the harrowing moment she was told her "beautiful boy" Carson was not coming home after he was killed in a tragic car accident in Yarrabah.
The 22-year-old had been out celebrating with friends before a horror smash on September 5 on Back Beach Road claimed his life and that of another man, 50.
Ms Smith said she was determined to spare other mothers the "daily struggle" that comes after burying a son as families across the Far North prepare to spend Christmas together.
And she is pleading with parents to talk to their kids about the consequences one mistake can have on our roads.
"I had no idea of the impacts it would have until we were going through it as a family," she said.
"This incident has taught us that we are all human, life is precious, and it can be taken away at any stage."
"Carson was out having a good night, like many others will be over Christmas, and he just didn't come home."
In a cruel twist to an already tragic story, Mr Smith was to become a father to a baby boy in March that he'll, sadly, never get to meet.
The Far North's road toll stands at 25 for 2020 in what has been a nightmare scenario for police, emergency services and the loved ones left behind.
Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Buckman from the Cairns Road Policing Unit said the ripple effect from a fatal traffic crash was immense.
"It's obviously a tragedy for friends and families of the people involved and one of the worst things you can ever face as a parent is having to bury your child," he said.
"I've got two boys in their early 20s and if they ever go on a trip away I tend to get a little bit anxious.
"For a parent or a friend to lose a loved one around this time of the year, well you'll be reminded of that every Christmas for the rest of your life."
Ms Smith said she felt a responsibility to educate her six other children about "taking accountability" when behind the wheel and urged others to follow suit.
"I wouldn't wish this pain on any other mother," she said.
"Talk to your kids and remind them they are not bulletproof. Speed really does kill, and we need to slow down on the roads.
"Carson is the missing link to me living a full and happy life so I hope this message can get across so no one else has to go through this type of ordeal.
Originally published as 'He just didn't come home': Heartbroken mum's grim Christmas plea