Jacob Roy, taken in 2011.
Jacob Roy, taken in 2011. Contributed

Best mate's heartbreaking reaction to Imbil teen's death

UPDATE: JACOB Cauchi was today still getting used to a world without his best mate and namesake, Jacob Roy, who died on Saturday in a freak accident at a friend's house.

"I've known him since Year 8," Mr Cauchi said, recalling their years of companionship as students at Gympie High.

"He was probably one of my first mates once we got to high school ," he said.

He was always the class clown and he always brought a smile to people's faces.

"He did that for me when no-one else could sometimes," he said.

"I found out on Monday morning and I didn't believe it. It didn't make sense.

"I sort of said, 'No, that can't be true.'

"He was the last person I would have expected…

"I was at school when I heard. I just broke down.

"It was something that stunned everyone at school.

"He was such a happy bubbly young man.

"We've been absolutely devastated. I still can't comprehend it.

"I'm absolutely gutted this happened to one of my best mates.

"I can't imagine how his family is coping with it. I hope there is something I can do to help," he said.


EARLIER: THE mother of a teenager who accidentally died in a freak accident at Kenilworth on the weekend has spoken out about her terrible loss. 

Gympie high school student Jacob Roy, 17, was found dead at a friend's house after accidentally strangling himself, it is believed, on Saturday.  

His devastated mother is today trying to come to terms with her overwhelming grief.

Kerri Saint.
Kerri Saint. Renee Albrecht

Kerri Saint, from Imbil, has had a hard enough life.

Now she is dealing with the greatest heartbreak of her life, the tragic loss at the weekend of her beloved son, the boy she loved with all the intensity her own mother was prevented from showing her.

Jacob died in a tragic and unpredictable accident, Ms Saint said yesterday.

"It was just a tragic accident," she told The Gympie Times.

"He fell and hit his head and got his shirt caught and it choked him.

"He was with friends.

"He was just so happy and alive.

"It's going to be tough without him," she said, struggling to retain her composure.

"I'm just going through the process.

"He probably won't be buried until Wednesday."

She said he was extremely well loved and liked by people of all ages.

"It didn't matter if they knew him for five minutes or five years - he just had something about him which made an impression on them.

"He was just that kind of child.

"He never ever felt badly about anyone, even people who had hurt him."

A child slave in her early teens Kerri became an advocate for abused foster children and successfully campaigned for a national apology to the mothers and children of what became known as "the other stolen generation," non-Aboriginal children who were also stolen from their parents by government agencies which practised forced adoptions.

Ms Saint said she was deeply grateful for the support she has received from her fellow-victims of forced adoption, who have rallied to support her through the worst of times.

"I'm getting such a lot of support from my adoptee friends.

"I can't believe the people who've come out to offer their help and prayers.

"It's been lovely to hear from them.

"They all said I'd helped so many people and they wanted to help me in some way," she said.

Jacob had survived being run off the road by a drink driver in 2014, while riding his skateboard along Yabba Creek Rd at Imbil.

"I can't find his skateboard," Ms Saint said.

"He had permanent pain in his back and leg and may have given the skateboard away."



EARLIER: Imbil police have confirmed that it was a "freak accident" at a friend's house that claimed the life of a local teenager over the weekend.

Senior Constable Bill Greer said he was not prepared to go into the details of the tragic death of the well known 17-year-old boy who had grown up in Imbil and attended the Mary Valley primary school and college until part-way through Year 10.

Other reports have indicated the young man was "accidentally strangled" by an article of clothing he had been wearing when he fell over.

Snr Const Greer said he had been liaising with the Mary Valley College since the tragedy occurred on Saturday, and the school principal was ensuring counselling was offered to students who had known the young victim of the tragedy.

The boy is believed to have been attending Gympie State High School since part way through Year 10, and had recently undertaken a TAFE course as well.

The accident occurred at a friend's house at Kenilworth. Police have prepared a report for the Coroner and say there are no suspicious circumstances.

Our thoughts are with his devastated family.



QUEENSLAND Police have this morning confirmed they were called to a home in the Mary Valley on the weekend after a teenage boy was found dead.

"We attended a residence on Bluff Rd at Kenilworth after a 17-year-old man was located deceased," a Queensland Police Service Media spokesman said.

Police have prepared a report for the Coroner. There are no suspicious circumstances.

Gympie Times

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