THE parents of Sunshine Coast apprentice chef Dayne Geltch will bury him tomorrow, wondering if they could have done something to save him from himself.
A popular young man who was everyone's best friend, 23-year-old Dayne died in a car crash in Torquay Wednesday morning.
Before his death, he and his friends had been having fun, as they often did.
His parents, Gerry and Terrina, said they had been seeing changes in Dayne since he moved to the Coast and were hopeful his wild days were behind him.
He was slowly turning his life around. Unfortunately he didn't do it quickly enough.
The Hervey Bay couple remembered Dayne as the type of guy who would invite complete strangers back to his house to continue partying after a night out clubbing.
He'd had his ups and downs, including a few run-ins with the law.
But after his death, his work colleagues spoke of him as "the next Gordon Ramsay".
He'd found a nice girl who he wanted to marry and together they were incredibly happy.
As far as his parents could tell, Dayne was growing up.
But then on Wednesday morning came that knock on the door that every parent dreads.
Dayne had been driving his mate's high-powered car, unlicensed, and maybe also drunk and speeding.
"It's heartbreaking, heart-wrenching," Mr Geltch said.
"You invest a lifetime of love and energy into your kids only to have coppers knocking on your door at 3.30 in the morning.
"He did the wrong thing by driving the car.
"He made a bad decision, obviously alcohol-fuelled, and got himself killed.
"But we pay the ultimate price as parents."
As they prepare for his funeral in Hervey Bay tomorrow, Mr and Mrs Geltch are still struggling to make sense of their son's untimely death.
They still have unanswered questions about what happened before the crash, where the Ford Typhoon slammed into a fence on Boat Harbour Dr and rolled several times.
Dayne was killed instantly.
One passenger, aged 30, suffered head and neck injuries in the crash and is still in hospital.
The other, a 33-year-old man, miraculously received only minor injuries.
"It's just so preventable isn't it?" Mr Geltch said.
"It's a waste, an absolute waste."
His mother smiles when she thinks about her son.
"I've always told him to call me at any time, that 'I'll come pick you up because I don't want you getting in the car with a drunk driver'."
When she checked her phone after learning of his death, there were no missed calls.
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