CURRA TRAGEDY: 2 mates were 400m from home when they died
THE Gympie region is in mourning after two outstanding young men were cut down in the prime of their lives in a horror crash at Curra on the weekend.
Mates Bryce Brunjes-Kilshaw and Sam Bourke, both in their mid-20s, were travelling on Harvey Siding Rd at Curra about 7pm on Saturday when their Mazda utility hit a tree at high impact, killing them both instantly.
The news has rocked anyone who knew them.
Justin Kilshaw, speaking on behalf of Bryce's family, said his younger brother was well-respected in his managerial role at Aldi, in the Gympie racing community and on the rugby league field.
"He was very well respected throughout all of Gympie," Mr Kilshaw said.
"A lot of people are hurting at the moment."
Bryce, who was born and raised in Curra, returned to the region two years ago after working as a personal trainer on the Sunshine Coast.
He was just 400m from home on Saturday night when the crash happened on the country road.
His brother said the loss of his brother was immeasurable.
"He had a heart of gold," Mr Kilshaw said.
"He was so genuine and oozing with love and always had a smile on his face.
"He was just a golden soul."
Mary Valley Stags Rugby League Club vice president Aaron Parker said the news had hit the Stags community hard.
"We have lost a champion," he said of Bryce.
Respected for his tough-as-nails grunt on the footy field, the all-rounder was equally respected off the field, Mr Parker said.
"He was a great bloke, you couldn't get nicer," he said.
"He was honest, tough and filled in where required."
Stags players took to the club's private Facebook page to pay tribute to Bryce, Mr Parker said.
"Absolute legend - all round good bloke," one of the tributes read.
Junior Devils coach Rob Murray, who coached both men in their junior years, echoed those sentiments.
"They were excellent football players and they were lovely young men," he said.
Mr Murray said Sam, who played with his twin brother Jake, had been a very obliging youngster.
"Nothing was ever too much trouble for him," he said.
"He and his brother were very close and always looked out for each other on the football field. They were absolute stand-out young people who were definitely on the right path to being good men. It's a very sad loss."
Wide Bay Forensic Crash Unit officer-in-charge Sergeant Steve Webb said the crash was under investigation.