Feysville car crash: Katie McGuire’s mum Dannielle Wilkie makes heartbreaking plea after losing daughter
The devastated mother of an 18-year-old girl who died in a car rollover near Kalgoorlie says she feels like her heart has been “ripped out of my chest over and over again” as she made the tragic revelation a decision not to wear a seatbelt may have cost her daughter’s life.
Dannielle Wilkie says she is living every parent’s worst nightmare after she received a phone call on her way home from work on Saturday to tell her that her daughter, Katie McGuire, had been critically injured in the crash on a track near Hannan Lake.
When Ms Wilkie got to the scene, she was met with the devastating sight of police officers and her daughter on the ground covered in a white blanket.
Katie was a passenger in a Toyota Prado being driven by her 17-year-old boyfriend Jai Stacpoole, who was also seriously injured, along with her step-brother Jack, 14, and 16-year-old cousin Samuel.
“It was just kids going out to have fun,” she said, adding Jai had a fracture in his lower spine and was an “absolute mess”.
Ms Wilkie described her daughter as being “the light of everything”.
“She was the kindest friend to everyone, she always put everyone else first,” she said.
“She always made sure everyone was OK.
“Everyone that met her just loved her. She was one of those kids that you just couldn’t do anything but love her.”
The Kalgoorlie mother said being told her daughter was critically injured “was the worst news I could ever get”.
“I don’t know where to go from here, or how life is supposed to go on,” she said.
“My whole family is absolutely devastated.
“It’s just indescribable pain. I honestly feel like it’s a dream. I still feel like I’m dreaming and I’m going to wake up and she will be asleep in her bed.”
Ms Wilkie pleaded with other teenagers to remember to wear their seatbelts, believing her daughter may still be alive today had she put hers on.
“Please put your seatbelt on,” she said.
“Normally she had her seatbelt on, but this time, she didn’t.”
Now, Katie will never fulfil her dream of having kids of her own.
You will always be remembered as the beautiful kind hearted person we all knew and loved you were just so kind and caring to everyone around you.
“Even though she was so, so young she wanted to be a mother. That was important to her,” Ms Wilkie said.
“I just feel like my heart’s been ripped out of my chest over and over again.
“Every time I think about it, I break down because she’s not going to experience any of that stuff.”
In the days since the horror crash, friends, family and former schoolmates have taken to social media to express their shock and grief over the teenager’s death as police investigate.
Katie’s grandparents wrote: “Our hearts are torn apart.”
“We have lost our beautiful granddaughter, a wonderful young lady,” they wrote.
“You will be so much missed. we love you so so much.”
Sara Hunter said: “Fly high beautiful ... you were taken way too young.”
In her tribute, Charley Owen described Katie as a “beautiful girl”.
“You will always be remembered as the beautiful kind hearted person we all knew and loved you were just so kind and caring to everyone around you,” she said.
“Fly high beautiful,” Sarah Paul posted.
“Eighteen is way too young to have wings. Rest In Peace. You’ll never be forgotten. Always in my heart always and forever.”
A fundraiser has been set up by Katie’s friends to help with the family’s funeral costs.
“Katie was only 18 and it has come as such a shock to all that knew her,” her friends said.
“We were completely unprepared for this to happen as she was so young.”
Major crash detectives continue to investigate the crash and are appealing for anyone with information to contact police.
The crash was the third tragedy in a month involving 17-year-old drivers.
In late May, a 15-year-old girl died after a car being driven by a 17-year-old was involved in a head-on crash on Gingin Brook Road near Neergabby.
A week before Katie died, Dale Martin and his friend Ryleigh Land, both 17, lost their lives when the utility Dale was driving left the South Western Highway in Wagerup and rolled in wet and rainy conditions.
The boys’ grieving families spoke of their pain in the aftermath of the double tragedy.
Ryleigh’s mother Kelly Land described her cricket-mad son as being “so responsible” and “way beyond his years”.
In a statement, Dale’s parents said the talented sportsman “was beloved by everyone he met”.
“He excelled in everything he did and was known by everyone for his skill and personality,” they said.
“Everywhere he went, he carried an air of good humour and pride. He never failed to put a smile on the face of everyone around him.
“He did as much in 17 years as some do in an entire lifetime. We are blessed to have had his light shine through our lives for 17 years.
“It saddens us beyond words that we will never see him become the man he was destined to be; he will never have kids, never marry his beautiful girl.”
In an interview, Dale’s mother Sam Martin said it was unfair to assume inexperience was always to blame and that her son was “responsible beyond his years”.
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