Ben, Ethan and Bec Pringle (back row) with Ryan and Amber Pringle (front row).
Ben, Ethan and Bec Pringle (back row) with Ryan and Amber Pringle (front row).

Family grieves loss of 'cheeky, perfect' seven-year-old boy

RYAN Pringle was doing what he loved when his short life ended just two days after Christmas.

The seven-year-old from Helidon took "every chance he could get" to ride shotgun in the truck beside his truck driver father Ben Pringle.

Ryan's love for trucks is now just one of the quirks his parents Ben and Bec Pringle remember about the Year 2 student as they find a way to live without their "perfect" boy.

"He was amazing, he was cheeky and perfect," Mrs Pringle said.

"We think about him every minute - sometimes it's good and we think about funny things and other times reality smashes you in the face like a tonne of bricks."

Ryan loved cricket, fishing, football, and finding rocks - his room now sits as a shrine full of his passions, which Mr Pringle cannot yet bear to see.

"He was just a normal kid but different in so many ways, he was like the superstar of kids," Mr Pringle said.

"He didn't stop unless he was watching YouTube."

Mrs Pringle would regularly wake to the sound of footsteps in the hallway and the sound of Ryan's voice - this would be just another thing she would miss.

"Nothing is ever going to be the same," Mrs Pringle said. "I don't know what to feel or do, we walk around aimlessly, nothing feels right, it feels empty, it feels wrong."

The last three weeks had been a "blur" for the mother- of-four whose life changed when she picked up the phone on December 27.

"Ben rang me and I couldn't understand what he was saying and then I cottoned on to what he said," Mrs Pringle said.

"He just said I lost our little boy, I'm so sorry, I tried."

Mr Pringle still couldn't remember the day in its entirety, but he recalled being pulled back from the burning vehicle when he tried to rescue his son.

Ryan became entrapped in the truck after it collided with another truck, causing it to roll and catch fire on the Gore Highway.

Mr Pringle used his 11 years of truck driving experience to avoid the crash but was unsuccessful.

The truck driven by Mr Pringle hit the rear of another truck while on their way to a feed lot in Wyalla.

The distraught father said he did everything he could to avoid the life-changing accident.

Mr Pringle sustained burns and a broken knee cap in the crash but, even when he recovers, he will never drive a truck again.

Ryan left behind an older brother and sister, as well as his 11-month-old sister Hailee who is the spitting image of him.

"We will make sure Hailee remembers him; we are never going to forget him," Mrs Pringle said.

"He will always be a part of everything we do even though he's not here."

Family, friends and the community have rallied around the Pringle family, they said they were overwhelmed by the support and would be forever grateful.