An Australian teenager has died after crashing his scooter while on holiday in Bali with his family. Lochie Connaughton, from Orange in central western NSW, lost control of the scooter in the basement car park of the Stones Hotel in Legian where he was staying at 10pm on Thursday.
Kuta Police Chief Wayan Sumara told Fairfax Media the 16-year-old crashed into a concrete wall. “He wasn’t driving under the influence,” Mr Wayan said. “We believe he didn’t know there was a wall there.” No other vehicles or people were involved in the accident.
The Kuta Police chief said security guards found Lochie, who was conscious but weak, after they heard the crash. He was in a critical condition when he arrived at Siloam Hospital and died soon after.
Lochie’s family will be flying home to Sydney with his body on Saturday night, leaving from Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai Airport just before midnight.
Tributes have been pouring in for the teen, who was a student at Orange High School. A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for his parents George and Cindy and siblings Maddi and Ollie has already attracted more than $50,000.
Childhood friend Billy Greatbatch, who set up the fundraiser on Thursday night, he was in disbelief when Lochie died.
“Lochie just had this way that he always made people laugh and what has happened is just incredibly tragic and sad,” Billy said.
“As soon as I heard the news I went straight up to Orange High School…and I couldn’t believe the outpouring of grief from the students and the teachers.”
Friends continued to express their grief by posting photos and memories to a memorial Facebook page on Saturday evening.
Around 100 friends gathered on Thursday to light candles and release balloons in memory of the 16-year-old, who played for the Orange City Rugby Club.
His number 13 jumper will be retired for the season in tribute.
Former coaches took to the fundraising page to say Lochie would be dearly missed.
“I had the pleasure of helping to coach Lochie last year with Orange City and enjoyed every moment,” Tony and Karen Dalton wrote. “We are so sorry of the tragic loss of Lochie.”
Lee Parr said Lochie was a “great kid”.
“[I]t was a real pleasure to coach you and watch you play,” he wrote. “You will be missed.”
Sam Brayshaw, who was in Bali with Lochie and his family, thanked everyone for their respect and support in a post on Facebook.
“May Lochie never be forgotten and always in our hearts,” he wrote. “Words can not describe what we are going through right now.
“Rest in peace buddy we love you.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for comment.