Car crash victim Robbie Davis died before he could graduate

SOUTH Australian Robbie Davis was due to graduate from his University of Newcastle architecture degree this Friday.

Instead, the 22-year-old’s distraught family will travel to the Hunter to receive his graduation papers after he was killed in an accident at Lambton on Wednesday.

Mr Davis appears to have driven his Toyota Yaris through a red light as he was travelling east along Griffiths Road and collided with a Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive, which was turning right into Turton Road.

He was killed instantly.

Mr Davis had returned to his adopted city to study for his masters.

Robbie’s parents, Hugh and Abby will arrive in Newcastle on Tuesday before formally identifying their son’s body. They will then remain for the graduation ceremony on Friday before holding a wake with his university friends that afternoon.

A dozen other family members and friends are also coming from South Australia.

‘‘Robbie was so excited about us coming up to see him graduate,’’ Mrs Davis said. ‘‘He couldn’t wait to show us where he lived and his university.’’

Mrs Davis said Robbie was on his way to the beach to go for a surf when the accident occurred.

‘‘He loved surfing and he loved music,’’ she said.

‘‘He loved listening to Triple J, but didn’t play an instrument.

‘‘Friends used to joke that he played the stereo.’’

Mr Davis’s passion for architecture had led him from South Australia to Newcastle in 2008 because he rated the university’s course as the best alongside Melbourne.

He quickly made Newcastle home and had become a head of a house at the university to help new students become more settled when they first arrived.

‘‘We’ve just been overcome by the endless stream of well-wishing and tributes coming from friends,’’ Mrs Davis said. ‘‘We knew he had this big life in Adelaide, but we didn’t realise he had this other life in Newcastle.

‘‘He just had this way of caring for people and looking after them and when people met him they felt like they’d known him forever.’’

A dedicated Facebook site had attracted more than 300 grieving members by last night.

‘‘I never met anyone who loved life more or was as passionate about their dreams as Robbie. I am so grateful to have had the chance to be his friend,’’ one friend wrote on the page.

‘‘He will always be in our hearts – his unfailing ability to engage, lift and inspire and always a truly joyful soul – so easy to love,’’ wrote another.

The family thanked Newcastle City police for their professionalism and care in their time of need.

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