Thousands see off teens

More than two thousand people attended the funerals of the two teens. Picture: Shawn Smits


The two Werribee teenagers killed in a car crash two days after Christmas were farewelled by thousands in separate funeral services last week.

Jesse Edwards and Brandon Christopoulos, both 19, died when their car came off the Newell Highway in northern New South Wales on December 27 as they and three mates made their way to the Gold Coast to see in the new year.

More than 1100 people gathered at Encore in Hoppers Crossing on Tuesday to celebrate the life of Jesse (below), one of five children from a close-knit family.



His parents and siblings spoke lovingly of the keen Glen Orden Football Club player and commerce student, and father Darren held back tears as he remembered his son.

“He was like my twin,” he said. “He was loveable, cheeky, stubborn and funny; one of a kind. He loved Collingwood Football Club, loved indoor cricket and the gym. I’ve lost a son, but I’ve also lost my best mate.”

Darren then read a statement on behalf of his wife, Denise, who was too emotional to speak.

“My beautiful boy Jesse,” it said. “My heart breaks every minute of the day. I don’t know how to go on without you.

“The only thing I know is that a piece of my heart has been ripped out. It belongs to you now.”

Jesse’s four siblings shared stories of growing up with him.

Another 1000 people visited Encore on Friday to say goodbye to Brandon (below).


Local singer Holly Marie performed an emotional tribute to Brandon and Jesse, with her original song written for the boys,

Only the best die young.

Joel Radovanovic, Brandon’s best mate since the age of six, gave a touching tribute. “When I first met Brandon out the front of St James Primary School in 2002, I saw a little kid holding his mum’s hand,” he said.

“He looked almost the same as me: tanned, chubby with a cheeky smile. You were my first friend and my best friend.” Joel concluded with a tearful “I love you, mate.”

Brandon’s uncle Noel spoke of a social and loyal young man. “Brandon learnt a lot through his school years, but not all through his text books,” he said. “He was OK academically but was very strong on social skills. He knew how to make friends, look after his mates and respect friendships.”

A crowdfunding campaign to support the Edwards family has raised more than $13,000.