THE mother of a Tyalgum teenager killed in a car crash on Wednesday has spoken out about her "unbelievable" bond with her lost son.
Wendy Morris told the Daily News that she would miss the moments 19-year-old Clayton Buckland would kiss her on the cheek on his way out.
"He'd always hug me. We were inseparable and that's what I'll miss," Ms Morris said.
Clayton worked as an apprentice plasterer with his father, Chris Buckland, who said he saw his son seven days a week.
"It wasn't just a father-son relationship," Mr Buckland said.
"He was my friend and we were basically equals."
He was protective of younger sisters Jade and Yasmin right until his end on Tyalgum Rd, Eungella, and tried to shield them from the worst of the accident.
Ms Morris said "he would never drive fast with those girls in the car."
"Even when they were little getting on school buses he'd ask 'Where's Jade? Where's Yasmin?' "
She said Yasmin was not coping well with the loss and Jade could not remember the crash.
"When a friend of my daughters came and gave us the news I thought, 'Keep on breathing, Clayton. You've got to keep breathing for mum'.
"His face and his blue eyes would light up a room.
"He was perfect and there's probably not many mums who can say that.
"The hole in my heart is huge. We'll just have to take things one day at a time."
Clayton went to Murwillumbah Christian School and Murwillumbah High School, enjoyed tae kwon do, parachuting, gliding, played the banjo, rode motorbikes and belonged to the Cudgen and Murwillumbah Rugby League clubs.
His greatest passion was for storm chasing.
His family said Clayton wanted to finish his apprenticeship, buy a house, then study weather at university with the goal of one day working for the Bureau of Meteorology.
Clayton was already volunteer storm spotter for the bureau and had joined the Australian Severe Weather Association.
Murwillumbah High School principal Warrick Simmons said Clayton was well liked by teachers and students, who had been offered counselling.
"Teachers who knew him thought he had a bright future and would have made a great contribution to our community.
"On behalf of the school, we express our sympathy to his family and friends.
"We'll do everything we can to help and support them."
Clayton was humble and romantic when it came to the opposite sex, his father said, once taking a girl to a $75 each dinner on Mount Tamborine.
He said his son told him about one night watching a movie when a girl came over and kissed him.
"Afterward he asked me 'Do you think she likes me?'," Mr Buckland said.
Ms Morris said her son's funeral would be held at Melaleuca Memorial Gardens, Tweed Valley Way, Chinderah, on June 1 from 2.30pm.
The family hopes for his ashes to be released in the stratosphere from a weather balloon.
Police investigations into the crash, which occurred at 8.25am on Wednesday, are continuing.
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