Tears for cheeky 18-year-old lost in crash
AS CHRIS Keirnan drove to his parents' Sandy Creek home on Tuesday night - in the black Commodore he adored - he had no idea his life was about to be tragically cut short.
And his devastated family had no idea just how strongly the teenager's death would impact not only their lives but those of the wider community.
Since news broke that 18-year-old Chris was killed in a collision with a truck on Tuesday, the Keirnan family have been overwhelmed with an outpouring of love and support. The general community is mourning a handsome young man, taken before his time.
His close friends are missing their loyal mate, always ready to offer a hand and keeping them laughing along the way.
Sisters Amy and Ashleigh must move forward without the cheeky little brother whose playful teasings were softened by his protective nature.
And parents Carolyn and Glen are now forced to say goodbye to their youngest child. Their only son.
As they face the toughest time of their lives, the Keirnans are taking strength from their happy memories of Chris. And there are many.
"He was absolutely the typical baby in the family and would get away with everything - as much as mum and dad tried to deny it," Amy said.
"But even though he was younger than us he would always look out for us and protect us.
"He liked to stir people up to get a reaction and lighten the mood - just never took anything seriously."
Ashleigh said the Keirnans were so proud to see Chris graduate from Warwick High School and attend the 2013 school formal.
"He had big plans for life - he always wanted to progress and didn't want anything to hold him down," Ashleigh said.
At one stage Chris - a keen car enthusiast and proud owner of a Valiant ute - wanted to be a mechanic.
"He had a very deep interest in cars, especially old Valiants and loved pulling things apart to see how they worked," Amy said.
"He offered to teach me to drive and I am his older sister," said Ashleigh.
The sisters said they know the loss of Chris has also hit his friends and Reject Shop co-workers hard.
"I have had hundreds of messages of support and I want his friends to know we are thinking of them," Amy said. "They were his family too."
Ashleigh said her little brother was a great friend who went out of his way to help a mate in need.
"He was very caring to all his friends and they used him as a shoulder to cry on," Ashleigh said.
"But he was also the life of the party and was a social butterfly who loved the attention.
"He was just a selfless friend and was always willing to lend a hand and didn't expect anything in return."
As they now deal with their grief, the Keirnan family are urging people to take care on the roads.
"Please stay safe on the highway and drive carefully."
A funeral date for Chris has yet to be set but friends can keep updated by searching "We Remember - Christopher Keirnan" on Facebook.
Forensic traffic experts on case
A POLICE forensic traffic investigation into the fatal accident that took the life of Chris is still continuing, the Warwick Police have confirmed.
Acting Senior Sergeant Lisa Self told the Daily News yesterday there was little point in speculating as to the cause of the tragic accident until all the necessary inspections and tests had been completed, and a report forwarded to the Queensland Coroner.
"What we know at this point hasn't changed from the night this tragedy took place," she said yesterday.
"We know the black Commodore was travelling in the lane in which the truck was coming in the opposite direction.
"It may have been a case of a momentary lapse in concentration or swerving to avoid a kangaroo.
"Both vehicles will be inspected by a police mechanic who will travel from Brisbane."
A/Snr Sgt Self said the standard process was that local police forensic investigators conducted an initial inspection of the scene and vehicles and then request a secondary inspection from the Brisbane-based police mechanic, to establish if mechanical or structural issues were involved.
Given the amount of debris at the scene this process could well prove difficult.
The driver of the Kenworth truck was a 51-year-old employee of Victoria-based Fred's Transport, which operates general road freight heavy transport services across Australia's eastern seaboard.
General manager Danny Borg declined to comment on the matter yesterday but understood the Warwick community would also be keeping his driver in their thoughts at this time.