‘Always there for me’: Shattered brother’s tribute
Nathan Tong was starting his new full-time job, he and his partner had packed up the house and were ready to move from Bundaberg to Brisbane.
On his way to work on the morning of Monday, March 22, Nathan, 28 from Kalkie in Bundaberg was involved in a head-on crash the Bruce Highway at Tiaro.
His brother Nick Tong, rushed to the crash scene but there was nothing he could do, only watch as the helicopter took off with his older brother fighting for life inside.
"He and his partner were in the process of moving to Brisbane at the time and had packed up their house and Dad and I were going to use our trailers to help them move," Mr Tong said.
"The company were going to put him on full-time last week, it was going to be the break he really needed."
Nathan Tong died in hospital on that night from his injuries.
His brother said Nathan was a very hard worker, a lot of fun and protective of him in the best ways.
"He was a big teddy bear, the typical male thing where we're hard and crusty on the outside, on the inside he was the most caring, loving person you possibly could've ever met," Mr Tong said.
"He'd be the first one there, ever since I was little."
"Every day he would say, 'let's go fishing, let's go fishing," and I'd say I can't now I've got work, he absolutely loved fishing and going to the beach and that sort of stuff."
Mr Tong said he now would make the most of his brother's fishing rod, hoping to catch as many fish as possible.
Nathan's best mate, Damien Imhoff said Nathan was like an uncle to his three kids.
"We had some great memories together, we may not have rung each other every day or text to say G'day but every time we caught up we had a ball," Mr Imhoff said.
"He was that close to my three boys, called him uncle Nathan, we will surely miss you my brother."
Originally published as 'Always there for me': Shattered brother's tribute for 'big teddy bear'