The accident in which Braydan Carter Mathews, inset right, and Ryan Beckman, inset left, lost their lives along with friend Shawn Woods.
The accident in which Braydan Carter Mathews, inset right, and Ryan Beckman, inset left, lost their lives along with friend Shawn Woods.

Best mates trapped in wreck for 12 hours

LOVED ones have paid tribute to three north Queensland teens who died in a car crash west of Tully on Saturday.

Braydan Carter-Mathews, 19, Ryan Beckman, 19, and Shawn Woods, 18, all lost their lives in the smash while their friend Tom Breen, 19, was taken to hospital with critical injuries.

The "best mates" had been out together on Friday night before a Saturday drive went horribly wrong.

A passing fisherman noticed their car semi-submerged upside down in the Tully River on Tully Gorge Rd shortly after 1pm.

The Burdekin Roosters posted to their Facebook page yesterday sharing their condolences for former Roosters player Mr Carter-Mathews.

"Braydan Carter-Mathews was a former Roosters player and Ryan Beckman was never too far from his side," the post read.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you all and the lads are now in God's hands. RIP lads."

Burdekin dance school KH Dancers' Jake Healy said Mr Carter-Mathews always brought joy to the dance studio, and would be largely missed among the school.

"He was always first to put his hand up to do anything - he really was the life of our (dance) group," he said.

"He was a character that's for sure. He's going to be sorely missed."

His girlfriend Hayley Ackerman said she was "absolutely heartbroken".

"I will never forget you Braydan," she said.

Braydan's close friend Hannah Paneccasio said she was yet to come to terms with the passing of her friend.

"All the boys' deaths are really going to impact the local community," she said.

"I still can't believe it myself, but I am sure it will hit everyone really hard."

Childhood friend Eloise Bice said Mr Beckman held an optimism towards life that would be deeply missed.

"He was the type of guy who could make the best out of every situation," she said. "At work he would cheer everyone up and tell jokes. He was always the life of the party and everyone loved him."

Sergeant Scott Ezard from Cairns Forensic Crash Unit said it was believed the crash scene wasn't discovered for up to 12 hours.

"We'd like to speak to any witnesses," he said.



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