Tragic death unites family and friends 12 months on

FREE SPIRIT: Family and friends will never forget Kurtis West’s cheeky smile.
FREE SPIRIT: Family and friends will never forget Kurtis West’s cheeky smile. Contributed

"IT SEEMS like only yesterday you were doing a muster, skydiving, wakeboarding, go-karting, riding your motorbike, playing Oztag and making us smile with your love for life and us.

"If only we could have yesterday again."

Those are the heartfelt words of Roxanne West, who lost her son a year ago today.

Twelve months on from the death of 18-year-old Rockhampton teenager Kurtis West, his family and friends are still coming to terms with losing such a bright, outgoing and loving part of their lives.

Kurtis died early January 10, 2014, after a traffic accident on Jambin-Dakenba Rd near Biloela.

The investigation into Kurtis' death is ongoing.

His mother Roxanne, sisters Amanda and Sarah, brother Jacob, father Kelvin, his grandparents, the Tydd family and all of his friends still hold Kurtis close to their hearts.

Kurtis' older brother Jacob said every day since his death had been a struggle but friends and family had banded together.

"It's been a struggle. Day-to-day things haven't been the same without him around," Jacob said.

"He was like our family's rock. His zest for life... he was really outgoing.

"It's hard to find the fun in things anymore without him around but we all have to keep going together."

DARE DEVIL: Kurtis West shows off his spirit as he ‘planks’ on a horse.
DARE DEVIL: Kurtis West shows off his spirit as he ‘planks’ on a horse. Contributed

Family and friends gathered at the Rockhampton Memorial Gardens on Saturday morning and release balloons in tribute to Kurtis.

To further celebrate Kurtis' life, his mother Roxanne and sister Amanda are heading to the Gold Coast to visit theme parks.

"He was always such a leader for us. It still just feels like yesterday. He wouldn't want us to be sad," Roxanne said.

"Amanda and I are going down to the theme parks because that is somewhere he would've liked to be.

"He'd expect us all to be skydiving. He'd expect us to be in the clouds."

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