News

Crash brings tragic end to bright young life

Russell, Curtsie, Terri, Ophelia and Elizabeth Silcox pose for a family portrait earlier this year.
Russell, Curtsie, Terri, Ophelia and Elizabeth Silcox pose for a family portrait earlier this year. Contributed

OPHELIA Silcox was known as "Possum" because of her large, innocent eyes.

The 14-year-old Gundiah girl was loud, outgoing and always made people laugh.

She grew up on the family farm, rode horses her whole life and won a stash of trophies competing in local equestrian events.

Just days ago, the teenager joked with her mum about winning the lottery.

"We'll go away; we'll go for a holiday," Terri Silcox told her youngest daughter.

"You can have $10,000 spending money and I'll have $10,000 spending money."

Ophelia's reply was: "I want to go to Africa. I want to live in Africa."

Today, Ophelia's grieving parents are struggling to make sense of the tragic car crash that claimed the life of their beloved daughter.

Ophelia's 15-year-old sister, Curtsie, was at the wheel of their parents' work ute when it slid out on a dirt road and crashed into a tree at Paterson, south-west of Tiaro, just after noon on Wednesday.

Curtsie suffered minor injuries, including a bump on the head and a deep cut on her hand that needed stitches.

But yesterday all that mattered was how much she missed her little sister.

"She was the funniest person, she made everyone laugh," Curtsie said.

"She'd just say the stupidest things, but they would always be funny."

The family, including dad Russell and the girls' older sister Elizabeth, 18, bravely chose to speak publicly yesterday about Ophelia's untimely death.

Mum Terri said the two younger teens, who were home-schooled, had been at home together on Wednesday when they decided to take the car for an ill-fated joyride.

"Ophelia was a bit headstrong, very much a non-conformist," Terri said.

"She was very opinionated."

Ophelia attended Gundiah and Tinana state schools.

She completed Year 8 and part of Year 9 at Aldridge State High School, then briefly attended Maryborough High before her parents took her out of school in August.

Students at both high schools yesterday wore black socks in honour of "rebellious" Ophelia, who often wore black socks to school even though she wasn't allowed.

Aldridge High deputy principal Jackson Dodd said all students would be offered counselling in the wake of Ophelia's death.

He praised the decision to wear black socks as a mark of respect and remembrance.

"This is a mature response by our student body to a tragic event," he said.

"The accident is a tragic event and a wake-up call to young people about the dangers of motor vehicles and the preciousness of life."

The Tiaro Pony Club, where Ophelia was a member for three years, has remembered her as a gutsy young rider.

"Nothing fazed her, she'd give anything a go," said a representative, who did not want to be named.

"She used to tear around on her horse.

"She always had a cheeky grin, a cheeky smile."

She said Curtsie and Ophelia were fiercely competitive when it came to showjumping.

"It's tragic, absolutely tragic. Everyone is finding it hard to come to terms with."

Thousands have taken to social media sites to share their grief over Ophelia's death.

Even Curtsie had posted on Facebook yesterday, saying: "I just miss my little sister so much. I love you Ophelia. R.I.P."

To leave a tribute to Ophelia or a message for her family, go to the "R.I.P Ophelia Silcox" page on Facebook.

Topics:  crash fatal gundiah miva ophelia silcox police teenager tiaro



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

'No confidence' vote not on table for councillors

Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers -

Most councillors indicated there was no legal basis for the motion.

YOUR SAY: All I want for Christmas is...

Christmas decorations adorning Santa's Curtis Coast Apex sleigh.

What is your Christmas wish?

Local swimmers support fight against MS

GREAT EVENT: Tom Norris supported his grade 5 teacher Justine Linderberg during the recent MS Swimathon.

This was the inaugural swimathon for Hervey Bay.

Local Partners

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!