Tribute to mates who died in each other's arms
THE heartbroken family and friends of two best mates who died in each other's arms after their car ploughed into wetlands off Melbourne on Friday have left emotional tributes on social media.
Two childhood friends Jason Gilham and Brad Dobney, both 27, tried to kick their way out of the sunroof and the back window of the Mercedes-Benz.
Mr Gilham's girlfriend, Carla Rainone, posted a picture of her partner the day after his death, alongside a the caption which read: "Please come back to me, I love you".
The rented car veered off the Western Ring Road ramp at the Geelong exit in Altona North, southwest Melbourne, at about 8.45pm, plunging upside down in the water.
A police officer and a paramedic jumped in to try to free the men but were unsuccessful.
Speed may have been a possible factor with police still to determine the cause of the crash.
Police have told family members that the two men, from Hoppers Crossing and Sunshine, died in each other's arms.
Friends and family left floral tributes at the scene and others took to Facebook to express their grief.
Friend Kayne Amiet wrote an emotional tribute to both men, saying news of their deaths "left me feeling somewhat bewildered and a bit empty".
"Both these young men were top fellas and always had smile on their young faces," he wrote.
"Bradley, your zest for life and love for your mates was a pleasure to he around... you gave it as good as you got and never had anything but a smile on your face.
"A true gentleman and a bloody legend, you always left everyone around you with a feeling of happiness and a laugh.
"Your love of having a beer with your mates is the one thing I will always remember, a social fella that had a chat to everyone at the function even the kids looked forward to seeing you. The true life of the party.
"As many have said today I am a better person for having had you as a friend.
"It just goes to show that life really is precious and fickle.. give your loved ones a cuddle and tell them how much they mean to you and please take care in these holiday periods.
"You will both be missed sadly and have left holes in many hearts. RIP brothers."
According to The Age, both men were well known in the drifting motorsport community.
The Victorian Drift Club released a statement lamenting the loss of "two great blokes".
"These two boys were absolute champions and always had great big grins on their faces at events. They will be missed so much, by so many. Our condolences to all their family and friends. Rest in peace boys."