John Keegan, 15, hit and killed by passing truck near Orange

Good Samaritan, 15, is hit and killed by a truck as he checked on two elderly car passengers after a minor crash the same day his grandmother died

  • Teenager got out of ute to check on an elderly couple his friend had rear-ended  
  • John Keegan, 15, was hit and killed by a passing truck that also collided with cars
  • Emergency crews were called to Mitchell Highway near Orange on Friday night
  • Rugby enthusiast described as ‘cheeky and caring’ with an infectious personality

By Olivia Day For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 00:44, 4 July 2021 | Updated: 01:12, 4 July 2021

A 15-year-old boy has been killed as he tried to help an elderly couple whose car was involved in a minor crash. 

John Keegan, 15, was hit and killed by a passing truck at the notoriously dangerous intersection on Mitchell Highway near Orange on Friday night. 

The keen rugby league player was a passenger in his friend’s ute when the 17-year-old driver rear-ended the couple’s BMW hatchback as they waited to turn right.

John Keegan, 15, (pictured) was tragically hit and killed by a truck as he tried to help the elderly passengers of a BMW hatchback after a minor incident near Orange on Friday night

John Keegan, 15, hit and killed by passing truck near Orange

The 15-year-old had been a passenger in his friend’s ute when the 17-year-old driver rear-ended the BMW as the couple waited to turn right at an intersection on Mitchell Highway (pictured)

The 15-year-old got out of the ute to check on the passengers inside the BMW, a 71-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man, the Daily Telegraph reported. 

What was described as a ‘minor’ accident quickly escalated when a truck travelling in the opposite direction collided with the Good Samaritan and the two vehicles. 

John’s grieving parents Jason and Penny Keegan described their son as an adventurous, cheeky and caring young man. 

‘Despite this being a heartbreaking time for the entire family, we are so proud that the caring qualities he displayed throughout his life were exemplified in his final moments,’ they said.

John leaves behind two older sisters Xanthe and Bonnie, three younger siblings Eva, Freya and Beau, as well as dozens of heartbroken extended family and friends. 

His parents said the close friendships the 15-year-old formed with so many was testament to his fun-loving and loyal nature. 

They thanked the Orange community for the influx of love and support, as well as the emergency crews that attended the tragic scene. 

A GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the family Georgia Gibson, described the teenager as ‘a respected young man with an infectious personality and love for family, friends and life’. 

John Keegan, 15, hit and killed by passing truck near Orange

The teenager, who was a keen rugby league player, has been remembered as a ‘thoughtful and considerate young man’ who will be mourned by the Orange community

‘The Keegan’s are a loving and respected family, well known for their contributions to our sporting and school communities.’

Ms Gibson said just minutes before Penny Keegan lost John in the horrific accident, she received news her mother died. 

The fundraiser is collecting donations to ease the family’s emotional and financial burden to finance two funerals, and has already raised £26,346. 

On Sunday morning, the Orange City Rugby Union Club players held a one-minute silence to honour the teenager. 

‘Yesterday we all woke to some very sad news, with the sudden and tragic passing of one of our own who played in the 16s, John Keegan,’ a post on Facebook read. 

‘His family have been a part of our club since his father Jason strapped on the boots for us in the late 80’s/90’s.’ 

First responders were confronted with an ‘absolutely horrific scene’ on Friday night, as described by NSW Ambulance Inspector Peter Rowlands. 

‘You couldn’t sit down and add up the number of people this is going to affect, including the young man’s family,’ he said. 

John Keegan, 15, hit and killed by passing truck near Orange

On Sunday morning, the Orange City Rugby Union Club players held a one-minute silence to honour the teenager

The government was alerted to the danger of the intersection as recently as February, cited in a letter penned by a concerned motorist. 

The resident urged Transport for NSW to execute road upgrades after sighting several near-collisions, which led to the installation of new warning signs and repainted road lines, with plans to widen the road within the next year. 

The 17-year-old driver of the Toyota ute and the elderly couple were taken to Orange Hospital in a stable condition, where the 71-year-old woman was treated for a fractured pelvis. 

The 74-year-old driver of the truck was also taken to hospital for mandatory testing. 

A crime scene was initiated with the crash investigation unit to investigate, with a report to be prepared for the coroner.

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