ROAD CLAIMS THIRD FAMILY MEMBER
By Alex Easton
WYAN ROAD, near Rappville, isn't known for its fatal crashes, but Cliffton Holmes on Saturday became the third member of his family to die on it.
Cliffton, 22, of Yorklea, died after losing control of his 1995 Ford Falcon on a bend while driving home from work during an intense storm. Two passengers were injured, with one yesterday still critical.
Family and friends who gathered yesterday to pay tribute to the kind and confident larrikin said Cliffton died on the same corner as his uncle, who crashed while driving home in the opposite direction from work in 1993.
Clifton's grandfather died about 20 years ago in a crash only a couple of kilometres further down the road.
But they said there was nothing wrong with the road, saying the storm was the main culprit.
Cliffton was a man who loved his cars, or, more precisely, his Falcons.
Every car he'd ever owned was a Falcon he'd bought the EF model he died in two weeks earlier and was already planning modifications such as a new exhaust and paint job.
That was the way it went with Cliffton and cars. He'd buy one and then as fast as he could save the money would change the exhaust, have the car lowered, the windows tinted and the paint redone before showering it with love.
Friends said he could spend full and happy days buffing one of his cars. Beyond that was a deep loyalty to family and friends.
The Holmes siblings Cameron, 23, Travis, 20, Bartley, 18, Hayden, 12, and Chantelle, 16 are a tight-knit bunch. They said Cliffton was always ready to offer help when it was needed. But he was also known as a rebel with little time for the judgment of strangers.
One friend described him as a gentleman who went out of his way to make people feel welcome.
Travis, whose partner Carla was expected to give birth to their first child yesterday, said they would name their new son Connor Cliffton Artie Holmes to honour his brother.
"He was my brother and my best mate, and there will never be another person like him," Travis said.
An informal funeral service is planned for Friday, with a Falcon XR8 ute, pumping out Cliffton's favourite tunes, in place of a hearse.
The family thanked the ambulance officers and rescue helicopter crew who braved Saturday's storm to try to save Cliffton.