Young man killed in motorway crash 'our court jester'
HE was a "high octane", bush-loving, car-mad ladies' man who lived life to its fullest right until he died.
That's how the father of motorway crash victim Cory Andrews, Paul, says he'll be remembered.
He was six foot one - "a strapping blonde lad".
Cory, 23, was killed as he tried to cross Sunshine Motorway on foot in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Walking home to Tanawha after a night out at Solbar was perfectly in-character for his son, Paul said.
Cory's mum Sherron Muscat lived about 40km out of Mackay, and when Cory used to live there he would walk into town and back.
"He'd walk for miles and miles," he said. "He just loved to walk. That was his make-up - that was his thing."
"I would love to know right up to the second (he died) what he was thinking.
"But he loved life - he grabbed it by the horns.
"He loved to have a drink - have a beer. Just like an everyday bloke."
Cory's passion in life was cars. He worked as a self-employed tiler, putting to use skills his carpenter and bathroom-renovating dad taught him, but he was also a talented mechanic and had restored and "hotted up" a stack of cars, his mates and dad said.
"If it was broke, he'd fix it," his friend Bex said.
"If it was slow, he'd make it fast. If it was quiet he'd make it loud."
His mates will remember Cory as the guy who "had your back" - a "court jester" and "life of the party", says his adopted brother and best mate, Ray McDonald, of Chinchilla.
Asked to describe Cory, he said: "Elvis Presley. He was The Fonz.
"He was the coolest cat out. A real cowboy."
Asked whether Cory was a happy or popular guy, Ray and Cory's mates Bex and Jamie burst out laughing.
"Just ask the list of women," Jamie said.
"He was The Fonz with a belt buckle and a hat," Bex said.
"If any of us were ever down, he'd brighten us up.
"He had a heart bigger than Phar Lap, and it ran off high-octane fuel."
Cory left behind a two-year-old daughter Nora, of Taree, whom he "loved with all his heart", Paul said.
He was a loving man and "very talented" with cars, Paul said - a trait he may have picked up from his "old man", he said.
"I used to tell him as a kid, 'don't be afraid of humans. Talk to people - you'll be amazed where it leads you'.
"He...used to come up and give me hugs and tell me he loved me - in front of all his grown-up mates too, and I loved that.
"That was something I cherished.
Paul was at his home with his wife Bernie in Taree, New South Wales, when the police knocked on his door with the news Saturday morning.
"It shattered me instantly," he said. "Absolutely. It's like my world won't be the same at all.
"I've seen a bit of pain on the planet and I never thought it would be my own."
Paul said the grief felt by himself, Bernie, half sister Rahni Kai and "adopted brother" Ray was shared by Cory's Mackay-based mum Sherron, stepdad Tony and Cory's sister Nikkita.
"Everyone that met him, they used to say, 'your son's beautiful. You raised him right'. And I'm proud to say that yeah thank you for that."
TO THE DRIVER WHO HIT MY SON
"I'm going through some pain for the loss of my son who is very very loved - (but) I'd honestly like to say please don't feel bad.
"It was a bad timing and I feel sorry for you, mate, that you've got ... these memories now.
"I hope they fade. I hope you feel better.
"As times goes on we all will. It was just a tragic, tragic accident.
"I feel no anger, it's just ... horrible, what's happened."
PAUL ANDREWS, CORY'S DAD