TRAGIC LOSS: Noosa man Samuel King, aged 21.
TRAGIC LOSS: Noosa man Samuel King, aged 21.

Family's heartbreak after horror crash kills young Coast man

THE family of former Coast man Samuel King has expressed "shock and grief" as relatives give tribute to the 21-year-old after he was killed in a head-on crash on the Bruce Highway.

Mr King was driving home alone from New Year's Eve celebrations about 2pm on New Year's Day when his silver sedan smashed into a van on the highway at Chatsworth.

He sustained serious head wounds and multiple fractures, and died at the scene. 

The family in the van escaped the crash without serious injuries.

Mr King's family, who had until recently lived in Noosa, has released a statement giving tribute to the former Noosa District State High School and Sunshine Beach State High School student.

"Sam is sorely missed by his mother, Fiona, and father, and his two younger sisters, Annalise and Leticia King, all of whom absolutely adored him," the family said.

"The accident and loss of life is simply tragic, as Samuel had been looking forward to a fresh start in a new area and never got the chance."

The King family had only just moved to the Fraser Coast to "start a new chapter" of their lives and build a home in Hervey Bay. 

Now family members face a wait for Mr King's body to be returned from the John Tonge Centre in Brisbane, where extensive tests have been carried out to determine an official cause of death.

"The car was flattened when it collided with the van - an image which which has brought much distress to his family, who are suffering ongoing distress and devastation from the accident which took the life of their much-loved family member," the family said.

"As no traces of drugs or alcohol could be found in his system, police suspect Sam accidentally fell asleep behind the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic."

A funeral for close family will be held in Maryborough once the body has been released, followed by a memorial service in Noosa to allow his many friends to celebrate Mr King's short but full life.

Details on the funeral and memorial will be announced once arrangements are made.

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