CRASH TRIBUTE: ‘Taken while trying to turn life around’
ON THE day he died, Maryborough's Damian Lawton took his girlfriend's face in his hands and told her how much he loved her.
That is one of the precious memories Rayleigh Burke has to comfort her after the 26-year-old man was killed when the motorcycle he was driving collided with a Holden Barina on Saturday.
His father Ronald Lawton had convinced his son to move to Maryborough a few months ago for a new start.
"He was trying to work his life out," Ronald said.
On Saturday, Damian was out riding his motorcycle when police were called out after complaints were made about excessive noise.
A Road Policing Command motorcycle officer patrolling nearby attempted to intercept his Suzuki GSX750 near the corner of Neptune and Woodstock streets.
Damian allegedly evaded police, accelerating away at speed and travelling through a stop sign at the intersection of Woodstock and Neptune streets before colliding with the other vehicle.
Ronald said he had sympathy for the officer involved.
He does want to know more about what happened and his son's death will be the subject of an investigation.
While he is the first to admit Damian had his troubles, Ronald wants people to know his son was a good person and was deeply loved.
"He was a normal 26-year-old," Ronald said.
"He was a pain in the butt and a loveable kid."
A father to two-year-old Aurora from a previous relationship, he doted on his beloved daughter.
When Damian met Rayleigh after he moved to Maryborough, he proposed the night they met.
The two were talking about buying a home and building the life they had always dreamt of together.
"He was my future," Rayleigh said.
Trying to explain what they would miss most about Damian was impossible for either Rayleigh or Ronald yesterday.
"Everything," Ronald said.
"Just him. I'm going to miss him.
As for Rayleigh, she can't remember her last words to Damian, or his to her.
The pain is too great.
All she can remember is that last day when Damian gently held her face and told her he would always love her.