Byron mourns death of 'good bloke'

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the fatal car crash that killed Byron Bay man Ben Donohoe early on Sunday morning.

The popular 20-year-old died when he was thrown from a south-bound vehicle on Bangalow Road that hit a tree just past the Old Bangalow Road intersection about 3.15am.

Mr Donohoe was hitch-hiking home from a friend’s wedding at the time of the accident.

The Volvo station wagon’s engine ended up in the next property from the force of the impact.

The 26-year-old Byron Bay driver remained in intensive care at Gold Coast Hospital in a serious condition yesterday with suspected spinal injuries.

Tweed-Byron duty officer, Inspector Darren Steel, said police had yet to interview him. However, he had undergone mandatory blood and urine tests.

Police will be preparing a brief for the coroner.

The 24-year-old passenger was still being treated at Tweed Hospital.

Mr Donohoe played on the wing in first grade for the Byron Bay Rugby League Club.

The Red Devil’s captain-coach, Simon Kelly, described him as the heart and soul of the club and said players and members were doing it tough.

“It is just devastating news and it’s only just sinking in,” he said.

“He was a gifted footy player and surfer and the club is just trying to galvanise at the moment.

“He was such a good guy, for ever smiling and never upset.”

Senior club member David Garsed watched Mr Donohoe come up through the junior grades and remembers him as an extremely talented player.

“He was very likable and easy going and seriously had the possibility of going to the next level,” he said.

Former coach Nathan Cross described him as an amazing athlete, but an even better bloke.

“Ben was one of the reasons I got into coaching,” he said.

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