GRIEVING: Lachlan, Gemma and Georgia Garrels outside the Mackay Courthouse during the inquest into the death of their brother Jason Garrels.
GRIEVING: Lachlan, Gemma and Georgia Garrels outside the Mackay Courthouse during the inquest into the death of their brother Jason Garrels. Lee Constable

Family of Jason Garrels' ‘heartbreaking’ time

JASON Garrels is so much more than just a young man who died tragically at work.

He's a beloved son and older brother. When he was fatally electrocuted at his workplace it left a gaping hole in a close-knit family.

Jason's older sister Gemma, 22, said "the hardest part is watching everyone around you hurt".

"The way he went at such a young age was horrible," she said.

>> 'Immediate danger' on site flagged days before electrocution

His mother, Lee Garrels, who was a nurse educator and went to the hospital to help after she heard a young man had been injured only to find it was her son, still finds it difficult to talk about.

Youngest sister Georgia, 15, said it was like "something was always missing from your life".

And the hearing dates linked to Jason's death always seemed to fall on important family events such as birthdays or even a high school graduation, making it hard to celebrate the usually happy occasions.

Jason was "laid back" and a "prankster".

>> No one was performing CPR on Jason when ambos arrived

Lachlan, 17, said his older brother was his best friend, the one he looked to for advice. "He used to take me everywhere... just help me with whatever I needed," Lachlan said.

For a week, Jason's family listened to the intense details surrounding his death as part of a Coronial inquest.

Georgia said there were "no words to describe" how it felt listening day after day to how her brother had died.

Father Michael Garrels said sitting through the inquest had been "soul destroying" in a way.

They all said it was "draining", "exhausting", "painful", "frustrating" and "heartbreaking".


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