Mikayla Eastwood and Hayden Perkins were killed in a fatal accident on Long Valley Rd, Gemmells. Picture: Facebook
Mikayla Eastwood and Hayden Perkins were killed in a fatal accident on Long Valley Rd, Gemmells. Picture: Facebook

High school sweethearts killed in crash

HIGH school sweethearts Mikayla Eastwood and Hayden Perkins were preparing to graduate and spend the rest of their lives together.

But the pair were tragically killed when Hayden's Mazda 323 collided with a Hyundai i30 in the Adelaide Hills about 4.40pm yesterday.

The 31-year-old driver of the other car was a teacher at the two teens' high school. She sustained minor injuries.

Teachers and students have been offered counselling as the school and wider community struggle to comprehend the tragedy.

Family friend and president of Strathalbyn Strikers Soccer Club Nick Brook told Nine News the pair were inseparable over the last couple of years.

"Lives lost far too young. It's very tragic, they have just finished year 12, they had everything going for them," Mr Brook said.

Hayden has been remembered as a talented basketball player and Mikayla a much-loved player and coach at Strathalbyn Strikers Soccer Club.

 

Mikayla Eastwood and Hayden Perkins were killed in a fatal accident on Long Valley Rd, Gemmells. Picture: Facebook
Mikayla Eastwood and Hayden Perkins were killed in a fatal accident on Long Valley Rd, Gemmells. Picture: Facebook

 

Mr Brook said Mikayla was a gifted player and her love for soccer was so great that she naturally began coaching younger girls last year.

"She went to Fiji a couple of times with Football Federation SA teams and she had a really bright future in front of her," Mr Brook told The Advertiser.

GoFundMe pages have been created for the teens to help their distraught families cover funeral costs with $10,000 already being raised.

"Sending thoughts and condolences to the family; so incredibly sad," one person commented. Another said: "My sympathy to everyone affected. Wish I could have given more."

The tragedy deepened after it emerged Hayden’s Mazda collided with a Hyundai, the driver being a teacher at Eastern Fleurieu School where the young couple had just finished year 12.
The tragedy deepened after it emerged Hayden’s Mazda collided with a Hyundai, the driver being a teacher at Eastern Fleurieu School where the young couple had just finished year 12.

 

A school student fixes the strings on the post where flowers are placed near the crash site. Photo: AAP Image/ Morgan Sette
A school student fixes the strings on the post where flowers are placed near the crash site. Photo: AAP Image/ Morgan Sette

Strangers have paid their respect in other ways by leaving flowers at the crash site.

"It makes you appreciate everything that u do have, because life is way too short," local resident Jessica Cowling said.

Eastern Fleurieu School's Ann Prime described the tragedy as "extremely sad", saying "it's meant to be a celebration at the end of year 12".

"It will impact many students at the school," Mrs Prime said.

"Over the weeks and over the months there's going to be time when the community will need to lean on each other to support and provide support for those affected."

 

The pair were sport lovers. Hayden a talented basketball player and Mikayla a much-loved soccer player and coach. Picture: Facebook
The pair were sport lovers. Hayden a talented basketball player and Mikayla a much-loved soccer player and coach. Picture: Facebook

Nine News reported that while the next few weeks will be challenging the school will go ahead with its year 12 graduation with a tribute being planned for the two teens.

With thousands of school leavers expected to visit Victor Harbour this weekend, authorities say the crash should act as a warning.

"It's about making sure we stop, reflect and remember the loss of life but again try to adjust our driving behaviour so we can eliminate it," Matthew Hanton of Motor Accident Commission said.

The teenagers' deaths bring the South Australian road toll for 2018 to 68. It was 87 at this time last year.


AMAZING DEAL: Read it all for $3 a week for first 12 weeks

Premium Content AMAZING DEAL: Read it all for $3 a week for first 12 weeks

You get access to local and regional news and the Courier Mail

Chinchilla organisation hopes to change course for at-risk teens

Premium Content Chinchilla organisation hopes to change course for at-risk...

THE Chinchilla organisation is hoping to help tackle the rampant youth crime...

Mercury soars to 44.6C as state roasts

Premium Content Mercury soars to 44.6C as state roasts

Queensland heatwave expected to continue until next week