Crash claims best mates

THEY were the best of mates. Kindred spirits.

Two young men who shared a love of music.

Friends and family of Bayden Garrett, 23, and Shane Laffy, 21, were still searching for answers yesterday as one of the most notorious stretches of road in the Hunter Valley claimed another two lives.

It is believed that Bayden was giving Shane a lift when the Daewoo Lanos they were travelling in left Rutleys Road, Mannering Park, in the early hours of  Saturday morning.

Bayden died at the scene.

Shane was flown to John Hunter Hospital.  He died there yesterday.

The crash site was just hundreds of metres from where Mannering Park teenager Annaliese Reynolds died two months ago.

The notorious stretch of road is littered with crosses, flowers and memorials to others who have lost their lives over the years.

Loved ones angry and call for change

THE deaths of Wyee men Bayden Garrett and Shane Laffy were met with devastation and anger yesterday as friends and family mourned two ‘‘kindred spirits’’ who died on one of the most dangerous roads in the Hunter.

While scores of friends gathered at the crash site off Rutleys Road, Mannering Park over the weekend, questions were again raised about the state of the strip.

‘‘Something has got to change, something has got to come out of this,’’ family friend Karen Leesaid.

‘‘It’s just such a loss. It’s not their time. Neither of them had reached their peak in life.’’

Bayden and Shane were described by friends as kindred spirits and best mates.

‘‘If you knew one of them then you knew the other,’’ Ms Lee said.

Both men had a passion for heavy metal music, and T-shirt of their favourite band, Parkway Drive, sat behind two drumsticks with Shane and Bayden’s names on them at a makeshift roadside memorail to the pair yesterday.

‘‘They were both awesome musicians,’’ friend Shane Reidl said.

‘‘Shane was an awesome bass guitarist.’’

The pair sang and could play guitar, drums or bass and they spent hours jamming together, Mr Reidl said.

It is believed that Bayden was giving Shane a lift or they were going to pick up a mate on Saturday when the Daewoo they were in left Rutleys Road near a bend at 2.30am.

Bayden died at the scene while Shane was flown to John Hunter Hospital, where he later died.

It was a double blow for Bayden’s mother Tiana who loved and cared for both.

‘‘This is a very tight-knit group of friends. This is like one massive family and they’ve just lost two kids.’’

Both men were schooled at Lake Munmorah High.

Shane worked at Sanitarium while Bayden, the eldest of three syblings, worked as a chef.

Shane left behind a brother.

The crash occurred a few hundred metres from where Mannering Park teenager Annaliese Reynolds died two months ago.

Other memorials, crosses and wreaths dot the road that connects western Lake Macquarie to the eastern side of the lake.

‘‘Something has to change,’’ Ms Lee said.

‘‘How many people have to die on this road? [The government] has to be aware now that there’s a problem because there’s been too many [deaths].’’ 

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