Mother's bid to pay tribute to lost son

Naming Imbil Skate Bowl: Kerri Saint asking for community to support the naming of a skate bowl, that may be built in the future after her recently deceased son.
Naming Imbil Skate Bowl: Kerri Saint asking for community to support the naming of a skate bowl, that may be built in the future after her recently deceased son.

JACOB Roy's life changed in a second, when he was hit by a drink driver while riding his beloved skateboard in Yabba Rd, Imbil.

It was one of those moments when a life changes direction forever.

The accident did not cause Jacob's death in August. It was just the beginning of a chain of events, some good and some bad, that led up to an accident so unlikely that it could not really be blamed on anything.

"You just never know how different things might have been," his mother Kerri Saint said this week as she and Jacob's friends launched a campaign to remember his contribution to their lives.

The crash left him with constant back pain, which put an end to his skateboarding, as well as his after dinner run and the weights workouts which were part of his fitness discipline.

"He asked me if I thought he would always be in pain," his mother, Kerri Saint, said this week.

"But from that he discovered music. When he couldn't skate, I bought him a guitar and he was getting lessons from Lee (T-Bone) Turner and he was really enjoying it."

Things were starting to return to normal when Jacob suddenly died, aged 17, while visiting friends.

"He'd do anything for a dare but he wasn't skylarking," Miss Saint said.

 

Jacob Roy, who was run off the road while he was on his skateboard by a drink driver in 2014.
Jacob Roy, who was run off the road while he was on his skateboard by a drink driver in 2014. Renee Pilcher

He fell and hit his head, got his shirt caught on something while he was unconscious and choked.

"He was with friends. He was just so happy and alive," Miss Saint said at the time.

Now she and friends from Imbil and Gympie, including school mates and fellow TAFE students, are gathering signatures on a petition to name a planned new skatepark at Imbil after the boy who loved his skateboard.

"We don't want to change the name of the park or anything that interferes with the history of Imbil.

"We don't want to upset families with history in the town, we're just seeking a plaque on the skate facility itself.

"He wasn't a famous politician or anyone who changed the whole world, but

"He was just an ordinary person who improved the lives of the people he knew," she said.

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At this stage, petition forms are available for signing at Imbil businesses including Mary Valley Hardware, the Rattler Café, Serendipity and at Gympie TAFE.

"I've emailed it to people who can't get into Imbil or Gympie to sign it."

Jacob was well known for his skateboarding and for teaching other people how to do it, including his mum.

Crystal Walklate says she learned her skateboarding from Jacob when they knew each other at TAFE.

Tristan Croft, Jacob's mate since their days at Imbil P-10 said he hoped the petition campaign would bring all of Jacob's many friends together.

"You never saw him without his skateboard, he just took it with him everywhere," said his brother Nathan Roy.

"I was 14 years older than Jacob, but he helped me get my skateboard."

Ethan Bishop also knew Jacob from TAFE. "I was more into BMX but I'm getting into skateboarding," he said.

"He was just a beautiful kid," said Robyn Street, a mate of Kerri's who spent a lot of time with Jacob.

Kerri says her job as a social worker meant she often spent time at skateparks, talking to the parents and older skaters who would teach the younger ones how to do various tricks.

"They're a great family thing," she said.

"A lot of people would appreciate a memorial for Jacob. He could talk to politicians or to the homeless.

"He was one of those everyday people who do extraordinary things.

"He touched people's lives and we all learned something from him," she said. "Sadly, accidents do happen."

Kerri Saint from Imbil is hoping to name the new skate bowl after her son who recently passed.
Kerri Saint from Imbil is hoping to name the new skate bowl after her son who recently passed. Renee Albrecht