GRIEVING: Clara Worsley sits in Tyler Hungerford’s room, lamenting the car accident that has taken his life.
GRIEVING: Clara Worsley sits in Tyler Hungerford’s room, lamenting the car accident that has taken his life. Vicki Wood

Star-crossed lovers torn apart by road accident

THEIR families described them as a modern day Romeo and Juliet.

And as in Shakespeare's play, this love has ended in tragedy.

Tyler Hungerford, 19, and Clara Worsley, 18, were in a single-vehicle accident on September 6 that left Tyler dead and Clara with a broken arm and a broken vertebra.

The two were on a short drive from Bellara to Clara's home at Ningi, but the outcome was long-lasting.

They had fallen asleep on the couch and Clara had woken with a start, knowing she had to be home at a certain time.

They both jumped in the car, with Tyler behind the wheel.

Clara buckled up but remembers that Tyler didn't - something that had never happened before.

Clara was too tired to say anything and quickly fell asleep in the passenger seat.

She remembers waking to see Tyler falling asleep at the wheel and screaming at him to wake up.

Then she saw the car's headlights on a tree.

"I could see smoke coming from the car and I could smell petrol. I was so worried the car was going to blow up," she recalled.

She tried to wake Tyler but knew he was not breathing.

In intense pain with her arm bone protruding, Clara tried to ring her mother and then the ambulance.

Tyler had been killed on impact.

His father had also died in a car accident 15 years earlier.

Clara and Tyler had been planning to move in together and were spending every possible moment together.

The family was unaware the couple would meet up at the end of Clara's driveway every day at 4am before Tyler drove 90 minutes to work.

Clara still walked to the end of the driveway for several weeks after the accident.

Tyler's family is also grieving and coming to terms with the loss of someone they describe as the nucleus that kept them together.

Tyler had been a strength to his mother and a bond to his siblings.

"The first to hug someone, the first to shake hands and the first to make us laugh," was part of his eulogy.

But one message his mother, Sue, wanted to get across was that people should not drive when fatigued.

"I don't know the answer, but young people don't seem to understand that they are not invincible," she said.

"It was a combination of Tyler driving so much to get to work and back and wanting to see Clara.

"He wanted to be able to do everything."

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