Boys still in morgue five weeks after horror crash
The funerals for two Queensland brothers killed in a tragic crash more than a month ago at Wellington in NSW are yet to be arranged as their parents remain locked in a costly legal battle.
Shane, 7, and Sheldon Shorey, 6, died after a car ploughed into them metres from the public swimming pool on Warne Street on January 5.
Their mother Shayleen Frail, 34, and two other children aged 9 and 10 survived with a range of serious injuries.
Shane and Sheldon's father Joseph Shorey, from Emerald in Queensland, said his boys' bodies remained in a Forensic Medicine morgue at Newcastle because an agreement had not been reached about funeral arrangements.
He said a Supreme Court Justice had now been tasked with deciding whether the boys will be cremated or if Ms Frail will get her wish to have the boys buried in Wellington.
"All we want now is to have a cremation so we can have their ashes and spirits with us," Mr Shorey said.
"I'm not wanting to bury the kids up here, because it's a long distance from her family. I want a cremation where we both get to have the boys with us and have them close."
With a hearing date for the case set down for February 17, Mr Shorey said to pay for the court action Ms Frail initiated, he had used some of the $25,000 in donations members of the public to help with the boys funeral costs.
"I've had to use a bit of it for legal bills which is a bit of a waste of money, I've had to pay my lawyer and barrister as well," he said.
"It's there for the funerals, but I'm off work at the moment so we've paid a couple of bills out of it too.
"I spoke to the person who set it up and they said 'yeah make sure you're paying the bills so you're not losing your house and that'."
Laid off from his coal mining job in December, Mr Shorey said the boys' death had made it almost impossible for him to return to work and provide for his remaining family.
"The same day my boys passed away I had a new job to go to but that job's been handed to someone else now. They couldn't hold it for me much longer, I understand that.
"I don't feel safe to work because I'm constantly thinking about the boys … working undergrounds in the mine is a dangerous job and I don't feel safe."
On Friday, Mr Shorey said he planned to hold a "little gathering" to mark what would have been Sheldon's seventh birthday.
"He would have loved that, he would have wanted that, he was waiting for that," Mr Shorey said.
"We have set up a bit of a shrine here in the house for them.
"We've put some of their stuff from the room on there, like their trophies, teddy bears, footballs, cricket bats."
In Wellington, the Frail family have invited members of the community to a barbecue at Cameron Park to mark Sheldon's birthday.
"We will be releasing colourful balloons," Shayleen Frail posted on Facebook.
"I thank you all for the support and for always coming together when needed."
More than $37,000 has been donated to a support fund set up on GoFundMe for Ms Frail.
In the wake of the fatal crash Wellington man Jacob Donn, 25, was charged with 14 offences including dangerous driving causing death, negligent driving causing death and driving unlicensed.
He has entered no pleas and remains remanded in custody.
The case returns to court in March.
Originally published as Boys still in morgue five weeks after horror crash