A teenager killed in a horror car crash that killed three others and left one woman fighting for life had urged his mates to live life to the fullest.
Lucus Garzoli was on Monday identified as the third tragic victim of the horror crash, which happened when the car he was in veered off Wannon-Nigretta Falls Road at Bochara, 320km west of Melbourne and smashed into a tree in the early hours of Saturday morning.
‘You only live once so make it a good f**king life,’ Lucus posted as his introduction motto on Facebook.
Lucus Garzoli had been an Army cadet. He died tragically on Saturday in a horrific car wreck
Lucus Garzoli’s Facebook intro urged people to live their life to the fullest
Joshua Elmes was killed alongside Lucas Garzoli. He too is believed to have been an Army cadet
Investigators removed the wreckage of the car on a truck (pictured) at around 12pm on Sunday
Lucus had been a proud member of the 314 Army Cadet Unit out of Warrnambool with his mate Joshua Elmes, who was also tragically killed in the crash.
The teenager had been a car enthusiast, with photos of hotted-up vehicles posted to his social media page.
He had proudly marched in Warrnambool with the cadets on Anzac Day just last month.
It remains unclear who was behind the wheel of the Toyota Corolla when it came to grief.
A mother in her 30s – Alicia Montebello – and three teens were killed. All were from the town of Hamilton, Victoria, located 11km from the crash site.
A 17-year-old girl – the sole survivor of the crash – was taken to hospital with critical injuries to her upper body.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said on Monday an examination of the crash reconstruction revealed the car was travelling ‘well in excess of 100km/h’.
‘To do that speed on that road at that time of day, any time really, is just incomprehensible to me,’ Mr Weir told ABC radio.
‘This is something we’re seeing play out in a number of the serious injury collisions and fatalities that we’ve seen recently – people not driving to the conditions.’
He further revealed police believe a number of passengers weren’t wearing seat belts, with specialised officers still trying to determine who was driving.
It is hoped the surviving teenager in hospital is able to help police put together what happened.
Garzoli was a car enthusiast who was killed alongside three others in horror crash
Lucus Garzoli in an image posted to social media just last month
Joshua Elmes (pictured) has been identified as one of the victims who died in a horror crash at Bochara, 320km west of Melbourne, that killed four and left one teenager fighting for life
Matthew Elmes acknowledged his son’s passing on a tribute the teenager had made for his father’s birthday, just two weeks before his death (pictured is the May 15 birthday post)
Mr Elmes said despite trying to be a good dad, he felt like he had ‘failed’ Joshua
On Sunday, Monivae College Principal Jonathon Rowe said the parents of Joshua had asked that the school community be made aware of his death.
Matthew Elmes acknowledged his son’s death by sharing a tribute that the teen had posted for his father’s birthday just two weeks ago on May 15.
‘Happy birthday to the most amazing dad. I love you and hope you have an awesome day. You deserve it,’ Joshua wrote alongside a series of photos.
The Facebook post featured selfies of father and son trying on different camera filters, photos of Joshua as a baby and a family hike with his younger siblings.
Mr Elmes said despite trying to be a good dad, he felt like he had ‘failed’ Josh.
‘I’m holding onto a post from my son,’ the grief-stricken father commented.
‘I tried to be a good Dad for you Josh… I feel like I have failed you though… I will see you again some day when the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; when the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well.’
In his letter to parents the principal advised that an assembly would be held on Monday morning to support the students.
‘I have spoken to the Elmes family who have asked that this be communicated with the school community,’ the principal said.
‘Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Josh’s family, including Josh’s brother, year 7 student Aaron.’
Alicia Montebello, a mother in her 30s, was also identified as a crash victim on Sunday
Bochara, with a population of less than a hundred people, is located about three-and-a-half hours west of Melbourne
Crash victim Alicia Montebello had been a Hamilton mother in her 30s.
Her grieving brother Jaryd posted a moving tribute on Sunday to his ‘beautiful sister’.
‘Rest in peace, my beautiful sister taken way to soon you were loved very much. Forever with us love you sis.’
Emergency services managed to tow the car from the scene at midday on Sunday, which has its roof caved in and bonnet crumpled by the impact.
Messages were seen written on the inside of the Toyota Corolla, including the tragic words ‘drive safe’ and ‘love people, help people’.
Police are hoping CCTV footage may shed light on what time the accident happened and how long it was before the crash was spotted and the alarm raised.
Police believe the driver of the car lost control before the vehicle crashed into a tree.
‘Two females and two males died at the scene,’ a Victoria Police statement read.
‘Another female has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.’
Three teenage school friends are dead and another is fighting for life after a horror smash on a road in regional Victoria
The red Toyota Corolla had messages written on its the seats – including the tragic words ‘drive safe’ and ‘love people, help people’ (pictured)
Students were also seen leaving bouquets of flowers and other tributes at Hamilton’s Baimbridge College, where some of the victims attended
Victoria Police Sergeant Ryan Nelson said the community would be devastated by the multiple deaths.
‘Hamilton is a very close-knit community, and there’s five people involved in this and all their families and all their friends,’ he said.
‘It’s going to hit the town really hard.’
According to the 2021 census, 10,346 people live in Hamilton and 84 in Bochara.
Southern Grampians Shire Mayor David Robertson described the crash as a parent’s worst nightmare.
‘This is horrific right across the community,’ he said. ‘The whole community will feel the impact of this for a long time to come.’
Mr Robertson said the teenagers ‘would be known right across the town’.
‘Even if they don’t know the children, they would know the parents or the grandparents or their brother or sisters.’
The tragedy happened on Wannon-Nigretta Falls Road in country Victoria (pictured)
Emergency services (pictured) were called to the scene at Bochara, three-and-a-half hours west of Melbourne, shortly after 9.30am on Saturday morning
The mayor said the crash happened ‘somewhere between 4am and 9.30am on Saturday morning on a lonely bit of road’.
He said safety is a big issue in the area due to the condition of the roads and wildlife.
On Sunday morning, children and families attended a confirmation service at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church where a moment of silence was held for those affected.
Students were also seen leaving bouquets of flowers and other tributes at Hamilton’s Baimbridge College, where some of the victims attended.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said his thoughts were with the family and friends of the victims.
‘This will be an incredibly difficult time for those families and friends, and people who love those who have been caught up in this, and we send our best wishes in what will be an incredibly challenging time,’ he said.
‘People should be assured there will be a full investigation … so we can try and understand what’s happened here.’
So far this year, 128 people have died on Victoria’s roads, compared with 96 during the same period last year.