‘Beyond devastated’: Tight-knit community rallies aid
THE small town of Pratten is turning heartbreak into help following news a local family had been devastated through the Wyaralong Dam tragedy.
The weekend crash killed Warwick State High School student Leo Larsen and his four-year-old sister Mia, and left four other family members in a serious condition.
The heart-wrenching tragedy brought the town of about 200 residents to their knees.
Pratten Progress and Preservation Association president Diane Lawlor said the community was still “very shocked.”
“Most people I’ve spoken to are really devastated by the news, particularly those who worked with Dylan and knew the family,” she said.
“I spoke to one young chap who went to school with Leo and he was very upset. It will be some time before time can heal the wounds.”
The town’s annual Christmas party had been turned into a fundraising event for the family.
“Unfortunately, we can’t do too much at the moment while they’re still in the hospital, but we wanted to raise some funds so the immediate things can be taken care of,” Ms Lawlor said.
“The community is behind them, everyone wants to help out.”
Member for Southern Downs James Lister said the who region was behind the family.
“Anybody who has anything to do with children knows how precious they are,” he said.
“To lose two kids is beyond devastating, especially when mum and dad are still injured,” he said.
“Pratten is a tight-knit community and that loss is a terrible blow. I can’t imagine how the community if feeling.
“There is a huge outpouring of sorrow and support for them and if I can do my small bit by being there and donating, I will.”
Mel Martin’s sister Amie has set up a GoFundMe for the family.
“My sister and her partner, my brother have been through the unimaginable, a tragedy that everyone hopes they never have to face,” she wrote.
“There are no words that can be said, the pain is unbearable.”
A larger fundraiser at the Sandy Creek Pub will also be held at a later date.
The Pratten Christmas Party starts at 5pm this Saturday at the Pratten Community Hall.
To RSVP phone 0439 240 345.
The PPPA will also be accepting drive-by donations.