Hundreds of mourners have gathered at a church in south-west Sydney to farewell 16-year-old Tyrese Bechard – one of five teenagers killed in a car crash last week.
The Picton High School student and four of his mates died on September 6 when a Nissan Navara ute slammed into two trees on East Parade in nearby Buxton.
Tyrell Edwards, 18, was the alleged driver and sole survivor of the crash – which also killed Lily van de Putte and Antonio Desisto, 15 and Summer Williams and Gabriella McLennan, both 14.
Ahead of Thursday’s funeral, multiple houses in the small town of Picton put balloons up to pay tribute to the five teenagers.
At the funeral, the church overflowed with friends and family who hugged and shed tears as a photo of Tyrese was shown on a projector – in front of bouquets of white flowers.
Teenagers arrived in school uniforms to pay their respects and the mood was somber in the church.
Before the service, ‘Fix you’ by Coldplay could be heard above the quiet sobs of loved ones, before the crowd stood as the coffin was brought in, with ‘Forever Young’ playing.
Tyrese Bechard (pictured right) died in the car accident last Tuesday when a Nissan Navara ute slammed into two trees on East Parade in nearby Buxton
At the service, his aunt Rebecca gave a touching eulogy to the family’s ‘special boy’ as mourners shed tears
John van de Putte at the funeral. He is the father of Lily van de Putte, who also died in the crash
Teenagers arrived in school uniforms to pay their respects and the mood was somber in the church
At the service itself, his aunt Rebecca gave a touching eulogy to the family’s ‘special boy’.
‘Our beautiful boy, you were taken too soon. For everyone who knew him, he was a caring kind respectful and fearless young man
‘He was a cheeky kid growing up. Fast forward a few years, he grew into a respectful young man. He was always one to set a goal and accomplish it. He was one of those kids who was good at everything he did’
‘Tyrese loved boxing, which he started a few weeks ago. Tyrese’s coach said Tyrese had a talent he’d never seen before.
‘He desperately wanted to save for a house. A few weeks ago, he wanted to buy a car so he could drive his grandparents around.
‘Reecy was so selfless and put others before himself. He always said hello and gave you a big hug.’
Rebecca struggled to maintain composure during her eulogy – pausing often to gather herself before continuing.
‘I’m going to miss looking over the dinner table and watching your reaction to things you didn’t agree with,’ she added.
‘Reecy, we miss you. We miss your laugh, your cheeky smile and courageous energy. Fly high my beautiful boy. Until we meet again, rest in peace.’
Before the service, ‘Fix you’ by Coldplay could be heard above the quiet sobs of loved ones, before the crowd stood as the coffin was brought in, with ‘Forever Young’ playing
Friends, family and teenagers arrived in school uniforms to pay their respects to Tyrese
The church overflowed with friends and family who hugged and shed tears ahead of the service
His cousin Marcus described Tyrese as a ‘second brother’.
‘He was like a second brother to me,’ he said. ‘Whenever we had a family gathering, I would look forward to seeing him.
‘I will never forget what he has done for my family and me.’
His school friends also paid tribute to him.
‘Tyrese was my best mate,’ said one friend named Blake. ‘One time he said to me ‘Blake, you made me a better person’. ‘I miss you, Tyrese. Rest in peace.’
Daily Mail Australia previously revealed Tyrese had been at boxing with Antonio in the hours before the crash and were supposed to catch the train home together.
When it got late, Antonio’s dad Exaven Desisto called his son to ask where he was.
‘I called him, because I always called him when he was late home, and I said ‘Tony, where are you?’,’ Mr Desisto recalled.
‘And he said, ‘I’m at McDonald’s getting some food, I’m with Tyrell’.’
When Mr Desisto told his son to ‘make sure [Tyrell] drives f***ing safe’, the 15-year-old replied: ‘Yeah, dad, you know me, I love my life, we’ll be safe.’
Tyrell Edwards, 18, was the alleged driver and sole survivor of the crash – which also killed Lily van de Putte, 15 and Summer Williams and Gabriella McLennan, both 14
Tyrese Bechard died alongside four of his mates on September 6 when a Nissan Navara ute slammed into two trees on East Parade in nearby Buxton
Hours later, the teenagers were dead.
Edwards was hit with five counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and was refused bail in Picton Local Court last Thursday.
In an interview with officers, Edwards allegedly told police his steering wheel began ‘shaking’ and that he lost control of the vehicle.
He said he couldn’t control the vehicle and tried to brake but it didn’t significantly slow. Police allege roadway evidence from the scene does not support his account.
The driver also allegedly claimed he only knew about four passengers and didn’t know when the fifth one entered the car.
Gabriella McLennan is pictured left with her best friend, Lily van de Putte. They died together in a car crash
Antonio Desisto, 15 (pictured right) and Summer Williams (left) also died in the car accident last Tuesday
Driver Tyrell Edwards, 18, was the sole survivor of the crash and has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving occasioning death
Following the court mention on Thursday, Edwards was taken to Silverwater’s Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre.
Witnesses alleged the car travelled at ‘high speeds’ and was on the wrong side of the road, before coming back to the right side, before the crash.
According to court documents, four of the teens were thrown from the back of the vehicle.
They were found a ‘short distance away, trapped by confinement’.
Edwards was allegedly unable to free himself from the wreck, while another victim was trapped in a passenger seat.