Grafton teen dies in horror crash
A LATE-NIGHT joy ride in his mother's car had fatal consequences for a former Grafton teenager at the weekend.
Sixteen-year-old Rhys Brady-Phillips died when the Holden Captiva he was driving crashed in a rural area just out of Darwin early on Friday morning.
His body remained in the wrecked car for possibly 11 hours as passing motorists, including his aunt, failed to see the vehicle.
His father, well-known Grafton identity Wayne (Tank) Phillips, was in Darwin yesterday helping with funeral arrangements and said the family was still coming to terms with the loss, but had been helped by the support of the Grafton and Darwin communities.
Rhys had been heavily involved in sport during his time in Grafton, and continued that involvement since moving to the Northern Territory.
In Grafton he was a member of the Grafton Redmen rugby union club and played with the South Grafton Rebels junior rugby league side. He played cricket with the Brothers club from age eight or nine until he left the area about two years ago.
After moving to Darwin he got into the local rugby side and played AFL.
He also spent a lot of time in the gym and had taken a job at Hungry Jacks, where he was doing a traineeship in retail.
“The girls loved him,” Tank said.
“He was very proud of his appearance and loved his six-pack.
“He had some really great mates and every time he came home he just wanted to catch up with them.”
He was back in Grafton in July helping his dad during the July Race Carnival.
His mother, Cecily Brady-Boulton, said he loved Darwin.
“He was fitting in really well and had a good group of friends,” she said.
“He was really well accepted, had a love of life and lived it to the full.
“He just loved his union and was in the army cadets.
“He was very active in the wider community.”
Ms Brady-Boulton said it appeared Rhys took her car about 12.30am on Friday.
“It was a bit smoky and it looks like he just ran off the road,” she said.
“There was no-one else involved.”
Wayne Phillips said there were counsellors at the Palmerston High School yesterday to help fellow students deal with the grief.
“The school has just been fantastic,” he said.
A memorial service is to be held in Grafton in a few weeks. A date is still to be decided. Rhys had a sister, Katie Nagle, 14, twin siblings Bryce and Jade Brady-Bye, aged 12, brother Dylan Phillips who turns nine today, and sister Taylor Boulton, four months.