Chinchilla Police officer-in-charge Sergeant Gerard Brady at the scene of the crash on Chinchilla-Tara Road that took the lives of Russell Poole and Jackson Sattler.
Chinchilla Police officer-in-charge Sergeant Gerard Brady at the scene of the crash on Chinchilla-Tara Road that took the lives of Russell Poole and Jackson Sattler. Jim Campbell

Grieving mothers' plea for drivers to take control

WANDOAN larrikins Jackson Sattler and Russell Poole were always the life of the party. They were good at sport, and cherished by their families.

Loved by all, they were both 21 years old and in the prime of their lives.

But their potential, their future, was snatched away in an instant - the consequence of one wrong decision.

The mothers of the two young men, Roslyn Poole and Kate Sattler, have spoken out in the hope of preventing even just one person from making the decision to get behind the wheel of a car when they shouldn't.

Since the crash just outside Chinchilla in July, in which Jackson and Russell were killed, Roslyn and Kate said their families had been going through horrendous heartache.

At the time of the accident, Russell and Jackson had been enjoying a night out drinking together and made the wrong decision to get in their car and drive home.

The families have come to terms with that fact - "nothing can be changed now" - and "it could have been anyone".

Now they just don't want other drivers to make the same mistake.

"Young people seem to think they're all invincible," Russell's mum Roslyn said.

"They are more concerned about losing their licence than about being severely injured or killed. But that's the thing: it's not about getting caught - it's about getting home."

Kate said the consequences of drink- driving, or any other misconduct behind the wheel, did not only extend to the driver.

"The heartache of losing a child, the things you have to go through after the event. Until it happens to you, you don't know what it's like. But it can happen to anyone."

"It could be your family that has to go through this," Roslyn added. "It's the grandparents, the families, the close friends.

"We wanted to send a message loud and clear that this is what can happen.

"Take responsibility and make the right decisions because the wrong decisions will affect everyone around you."

The young men's friends and family have established a memorial site at the location of the crash on Chinchilla-Tara Rd, where many have engraved their names onto padlocks and attached them to a chain on the tree - a permanent reminder of the relationships that, despite the tragedy, would never be broken.


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