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Kialla youngster remembered through bridge

Greater Shepparton City Council has decided to name a bridge near Riverview Dve in Kialla after Lachlan Collins, who drowned in a billabong near his house two years ago.

ASHLEIGH WILLIAMSON February 21, 2013 4:57am

(Back) Ashley Collins, Dylan Collins, Ian Collins, (middle) Karen Collins, Jerry Collins, (front) Devina Collins and Sarah Collins at the bridge now named after Lachlan Collins.

An unfinished go-kart sits somewhere at the Kialla home of Jerry Collins.

Jerry, 14, and his brother Lachlan were building the go-kart.

Their planned go-kart circuit probably included a wooden bridge near their Riverview Dve home.

‘‘It’s still sitting there,’’ Jerry said.

‘‘I don’t think I will ever finish building it.’’

Lachlan, 8, died in January 2011.

He was swimming in a billabong near his house, but drowned after jumping off a pontoon tied to the supports of a bridge.

City of Greater Shepparton councillors on Tuesday night voted to officially name the wooden bridge after Lachlan.

‘‘It gives us a bit of closure. It means his life was worth something,’’ his father Ian said yesterday.

The bridge has been a tribute to the Mooroopna Primary School student since his death, with Ian building a cross and signs with ‘‘Locky’’ on them.

Lights are wrapped around its guard rails and small beds with flowers and garden ornaments are at each end.

‘‘My mates from Melbourne wanted to build a big plaque, so I thought I would put the crosses there for the time being,’’ Ian said.

‘‘We are going to get a rock with a big plaque on it and sit it near the big cross.’’

Lachlan’s oldest brother Ashley, 23, said his sibling was always smiling.

‘‘He was a cheeky little s***, always up to no good,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good to know he will still be in everyone’s memory.’’

Ian raised Lachlan alone from the age of four months.

‘‘He was a kid into everything who had no fear,’’ Ian said.

‘‘He was willing to try anything.’’

Ian lost a second child, also named Ian, in a single-car crash about four months after Lachlan died.

‘‘My life is not going to be the same,’’ Ian said.

‘‘I’ve been a single parent for 10 years and I hold on to the kids I have left as close as I can.’’

The bridge named after Lachlan is one permanent memory of the son, brother, cousin and friend lost too soon.

Then there is Jerry’s go-kart, destined never to be fully built.

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