'Overwhelming' support for motorbike club after mate's death
SIX friends, all dedicated motorcyclists, were barely two days into a trip of a lifetime when tragedy struck.
Wes Carlton, 55, nicknamed "Pop", was killed in a head-on collision with a Kia Rio at Summerland Way near Runnymede Rd at Kyogle on Sunday afternoon.
Three other riders from the Central Queensland motorcycle chapter Sons of the Southern Cross were seriously injured in the horrific crash, and remain in hospital.
Now, the members want to say thanks to the wider Lismore community for showing an "overwhelming" amount of love and support, which has reduced the men to tears.
SOTSC member James Mcgovern (Knuckle), said the group wanted to thank the whole community, including the hospital, nurses and paramedics, rural fire service, fire brigade, police and publicans.
"It's just been incredible the support and the help that everybody has given around the town. It's been overwhelming and we want to thank everybody personally... we appreciate it very much," Mr Mcgovern said.
Fellow members Peter Williamson (Wacky) and Jason Powell (Pom) joined Mr Mcgovern to say thanks to the community yesterday before they departed back to Mackay.
"On Sunday, the people that helped us out at the scene it must've been awful for them. Shocking. But they stuck by us out there on the road and helped us," Mr Williamson said.
The trip had taken 10 months of planning.
"We left Mackay on Saturday and were heading down to Adelaide. We were taking seven days to get down there and Sunday was our second day into the trip," Williamson said.
"We sort of chose a route where it was a bit scenic and we like to support the little country towns - the people are friendly there and it's nice to stop and have a chat with the locals."
Jason Powell (Pom) said he wanted to thank everyone, including those who offered small gestures.
"Lismore has a very big heart. I'd like to thank the lady who helped me with water after the aftermath and the nurse who was first on the scene who helped us with Wells (currently in hospital with critical injuries)," Powell said.
"My heart goes out to them and their families, seeing the traumatic situation and I really do want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They are bloody brilliant."
The three described Pop as "a great bloke gone too soon" and said his loss was "a crying shame".
The men will head back home to be with family, but will always remember the kindness of Lismore.
Mr Powell said the support the men had received from the Lismore had "put humanity back up there" for him.