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Buxton ute smash: Incredible gesture from father to dead teenager

A grieving father whose daughter was one of five teenagers killed in a horrific womb crash has offered to meet the parents of the driver of the car.

Lily Van de Putte, 15, died when a Nissan Navara ute smashed into two large trees on East Parade in Buxton, in Sydney’s south-west, just before 8pm on September 6.

She was killed along with her Picton High School peers Antonio Desisto, Tyrese Bechard, Summer Williams and Gabriella McLennan – all aged 14 to 16.

The driver and sole survivor, Tyrell Edwards, 18, has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving and remains in prison on suicide watch.

Now Lily’s father John Van de Putte has reached out to Edward’s parents and offered to ‘give them a hug’ – just a week after burying his daughter.

John Van de Putte (left) has bravely made it just a week after burying his daughter Lily (right)

John Van de Putte (left) has bravely reached out to the parents of the driver charged with killing his daughter Lily (right)

Lily Van De Putte, 15, (pictured) was one of five teenagers killed after the car they were in smashed into a tree and split in two

Lily Van De Putte, 15, (pictured) was one of five teenagers killed after the car they were in smashed into a tree and split in two

Lily Van De Putte, 15, (pictured) was one of five teenagers killed after the car they were in smashed into a tree and split in two

“I just want to give them a hug,” Mr Van de Putte told me Daily Telegraph.

“No hard feelings, no anger … I have to do it for closure.”

Sir. Van de Putte said he had heard that Edward’s parents were “sweet people” and believed they were also suffering.

‘At the end of the day they suffer too, their son is in prison [on remand]’ said Mr Van de Putte.

Police allege P-plate Edwards used his phone to film a Snapchat video of himself swerving at 90km/h before allegedly hitting two large trees which split the hill in half – ejecting his passengers of the car.

Despite initial reports claiming that most of the young passengers were not wearing seat belts, Mr van de Putte claimed that all but one of the passengers were wearing seat belts.

Sir. Van de Putte hopes to use her grief to work with the government to change road rules as part of ‘Lily’s legacy’.

“I would like to see speed limits put in cars, also for people on their black … and repeaters, not just P-plates,” Mr Van de Putte said.

‘The technology is there, so it can be done.’

Sir.  Van de Putte said he wants to meet the parents of Tyrell Edward (pictured), who was the driver and sole survivor of the crash, to give them a hug.  The 18-year-old has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving causing death

Sir.  Van de Putte said he wants to meet the parents of Tyrell Edward (pictured), who was the driver and sole survivor of the crash, to give them a hug.  The 18-year-old has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving causing death

Sir. Van de Putte said he wants to meet the parents of Tyrell Edward (pictured), who was the driver and sole survivor of the crash, to give them a hug. The 18-year-old has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving causing death

On September 16, Mr Van de Putte described his daughter as beautiful with a ‘beautiful heart’ to hundreds of mourners who attended her funeral – but also shared funny anecdotes about how she was ‘no saint’.

When asked about his last conversation with Lily, the happy father remembered it fondly.

He was being rushed to hospital before a kidney operation – a fairly standard procedure for people who have multiple sclerosis, like Mr Van de Putte.

Lily was worried but he tried to reassure her that everything would be alright, giving her one last kiss and hug and saying: ‘You have nothing to worry about. It’s just a simple operation, I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow.’

The wheelchair-bound father recalled: ‘Then she ran out into the driveway to give me a hug and I left.’

On Tuesday night, while he was unconscious, Lily – who was an aspiring electrician – sent him a text saying: ‘Dad can I go out?’

He read that message Wednesday morning and said he knew she was gone because he had several missed calls and his son came into his hospital room in tears.

Lily's wheelchair-bound father is overcome with emotion as he places the flower inside the hearse as he says a final goodbye to his daughter

Lily's wheelchair-bound father is overcome with emotion as he places the flower inside the hearse as he says a final goodbye to his daughter

Lily’s wheelchair-bound father is overcome with emotion as he places the flower inside the hearse as he says a final goodbye to his daughter

A friend of the family set one up GoFund Me campaign for Lily’s family after the tragic accident.

According to court documents, four of the teenagers were thrown from the back of the vehicle.

They were found ‘a short distance away, caught by confinement’.

Edwards was reportedly unable to free himself from the wreckage while another victim was trapped in a passenger seat.

Edwards is due to face the NSW Supreme Court on September 26.