TRIBUTES are flowing for a lively teen whose love for scooters was matched only by his love for family and friends.
Stephen Rushby, 13, tragically died when the car he was travelling in crashed into a tree near The Rock on Sunday afternoon.
As news broke that the Ashmont local, known to most as Stevo, had lost his life far too soon, mates swarmed to pay their respects at the very place their unwavering friendships had formed - the Ashmont skate park.
Spray-painted tributes to Stephen plastered the halfpipes, while candles and hats were left as a sign of respect.
Eldest sister Jess Rushby sat at the park and watched as an endless stream of friends left tributes for Stephen through the night and well into the morning, before she left half a can of Red Bull as a final goodbye.
“He was always pestering me for a sip of my Red Bulls,” she said. “I never let him, but I finally shared with him.”
Stephen was the middle of seven children, who spent his time skating, scootering, playing and tinkering.
He was a loving brother, son and uncle, who would do anything for anyone.
“He was full of beans,” Jess said.
“He loved his scooters his bike, burn-outs - everything a boy should love at his age. He’d always spend time at the skate park with his mates.
“He had a heart of gold. He’d always do something to make you laugh.”
Stephen was a larrikin, but never underestimated the value of family.
“Stephen was the glue in our family,” Jess said. “He was always there. He would fix everything. He was a tinkerer. If something was broken, he’d fix it. He’d just do anything for anyone.”
Stephen was a doting brother and uncle, who could light up any room with his cheeky grin or sense of humour.
“The way he looked at my kids, it was just love and devotion,” Jess said. “He use to pretend to be a minion so they all call him Uncle Babanar.”
The close-knit family has banded together in the darkest of hours, after Stephen’s 19-year-old brother was arrested for his involvement in the crash on Vincent Road about 2pm Sunday.
Wagga Inspector Peter Robertson confirmed the 19-year-old was arrested and charged with negligent driving occasioning death, driving unlicensed and driving an unregistered vehicle.
Police believe the 19-year-old was performing burn-outs before the crash and that “speed was involved”.
It remains unknown if either occupant was wearing a seatbelt at the time and police are awaiting results from mandatory drug and alcohol tests on the driver.
He was bailed refused at Wagga Local Court on Monday.
The family, however, is unwavering in their support for the driver.
“We’ve already lost one, we don’t want to lose another,” Jess said