THE devastated parents of a young man killed in tragic car accident near Mount Gambier have described the heartache of losing their son.
Daniel Menzies-Pearson was killed when the car he was driving slammed into a tree on Carpenter Rocks Road on Monday night.
The 25-year-old was returning to Mount Gambier after working on a dairy farm.
Daniel’s heartbroken mother Tanya Pearson and his step-father Shane Pearson yesterday paid tribute to their son, who they said was taken too soon.
“We understand it was a complete accident, we went out to the site on Wednesday to put flowers on the tree and wanted to have a look for ourselves,” Mr Pearson told The Border Watch.
“He was not on the phone or anything else, it was just a tragic accident.
“It appears he came off the shoulder of the road and tried to correct it and has gone straight across the road.”
His parents questioned whether he tried to swerve something, possibly a kangaroo, on the road.
Mr Pearson said this would not be a surprise because he loved animals.
Meanwhile, Ms Pearson made an emotional tribute to a motorist who was first on the accident scene.
“Daniel did not die alone, Simon Ellis – who was travelling just 30 seconds behind and is the assistant manager of the Western Tavern – was with him when he died … just knowing he was not alone gives me great comfort,” she said.
It is understood the man – who recently completed his first aid course – did all he could to save Daniel, but he died in his arms from critical injuries resulting from the crash.
Describing the phone call from police as the worst in his life, Mr Pearson said he initially became concerned after he was contacted by a family member informing him there had been an accident at Compton and Daniel was not yet home from the dairy farm.
“I started looking for him, I went to his flat and a couple of other places and got a phone call from police saying they wanted to talk to me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ms Pearson described Daniel – who is one of five brothers – as a wonderful son with a heart of gold.
“He was never in trouble, excelled at school and he could play music despite never getting lessons – he will forever be in my heart,” she said.
“When he walked in, he would light up the room. We will never forget Daniel even for a second.”
Meanwhile, Mr Pearson described Daniel as the “dream child”.
“Daniel was a gentleman and really good person, just ask anyone who knew him … he was an exceptional child and he will be forever sadly missed,” he said.
“He was a very special young man. He would take his shirt of his back if someone asked for it.
“As long as his mum was happy and safe, he was right – he was always there for us.
“I want every parent to give their children a hug, you just do not know what will happen.”
Daniel was working at the dairy farm to raise enough money to return to Adelaide after taking a break undertaking medical science studies.
Ms Pearson said Daniel gained a scholarship to attend Flinders University.
A passionate competition darts player in Mount Gambier, Daniel also enjoyed playing for Glencoe and East Gambier football clubs as a youngster.
A date and time for Daniel’s funeral is yet to be confirmed.