Family trip leaves teens orphaned
A family holiday to the coast has ended in tragedy for two Pilbara teenagers, who are now orphans after a horror highway crash.
The Dawson family had hitched their caravan up and were on the way from their home in Tom Price to Broome last Friday, travelling on the Great Northern Highway 150km south of Hedland near Coonarrie Creek.
Exact details of the crash are yet to be confirmed by WA Police but a spokesman said it involved a road train, the family’s four-wheeldrive, and a third vehicle, shortly after 3pm.
Mark and Lara Dawson died as a result of their injuries while their two children, Jack and Larissa, were rushed to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Both teenagers were uninjured and are being looked after by their aunt. Tributes to the much-loved pair have been flowing in.
The family moved to Tom Price in 2013, having previously spent many years in Pannawonica.
More than just working in the Pilbara, the Dawsons are praised for being committed to making the towns they lived in better places.
Mrs Dawson helped establish the Pannawonica Craft Club and the whole family had been heavily involved in the Tom Price BMX Club, among other interests.
Pannawonica Craft Club spokeswoman Heidi Virgin said Mrs Dawson was “the most beautiful, fun person anyone could have met.”
“She always had a smile on her face, with her infectious laugh not far behind,” she said.
“We love you Lara and thanks for making our lives so much better for having you in them.”
Tom Price BMX Club president Shane Kerrison said the deaths had “totally devastated” the community.
Club coach and track manager Shane Godfrey said the couple never had to be asked twice to help out.
Tom Price Motocross Club president Brad Ryan said their children were Mr and Mrs Dawson’s world.
“Mark would spend hours getting the kids’ bikes ready leading up to the big events,” he said. “On motocross race days, you would often see Lara at the start gate with Larissa handing her her goggles. ”