Fam­ily trip leaves teens or­phaned

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

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. ”

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