Mother of boy who died in Mount Druitt motorbike crash remembers 'cheeky' son

REMEMBERING COREY: Mary-Jane Hodder with her son Caleb Walker at their North St Marys home. Picture: Meg Francis

REMEMBERING COREY: Mary-Jane Hodder with her son Caleb Walker at their North St Marys home. Picture: Meg Francis

Corey Kramer’s “cheeky” and “happy-go-lucky” attitude is what his grief-stricken mother will miss the most.

The teenager, 14, died instantly after the trail bike he was riding hit a stationary ute in Kurrajong Avenue, Mount Druitt on Monday. His chest hit the tray of the vehicle, causing multiple injuries.

Paramedics rushed him to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead but he could not be saved.

Mother Mary-Jane Hodder, who had been out inspecting a new home at the time of the crash, told the Star about the moment she realised her son was involved in the crash. 

“I came home and a friend asked me, ‘Have you heard about the accident at Kurrajong’ and I said, ‘What accident?’,” she said.

“She tagged me in a story on Facebook and the minute I saw that blue bag I knew.

“I couldn’t read it [the article] because I was shaking so my son had to read it to me. I rang up the hospital and they couldn’t tell me anything.”

Panicked, the mother of five called Mount Druitt police station who told her she would receive a phone call back from a senior officer.

“I waited and waited and then I saw on the news that the driver was deceased. I knew Corey always rode, he never let anyone else drive,” she said. “I lost it.”

Soon after, police escorted Ms Hodder to Westmead to identify her son’s body. Corey’s trademark blue eyes and blond hair left her in no doubt. 

“I don’t know how to react… I’ve lost my mum, I’ve lost my sister but this is my child. No parent should live longer than their kids,” she said.

“I cry when I go to bed. I cry when I wake up… I feel like one day he’s just going to walk through that door and act like nothing’s happened.”

Ms Hodder said motorbikes were Corey’s passion.

“As soon as the sun was out, he was outside,” she said “He was happy-go-lucky all the time.

“He had a knack for everything. He pulled bikes apart and put them back together.

“People would come here with their bikes for Corey to fix. I told him he would make a good mechanic one day.”

Police on the scene at the site where Corey Kramer lost his life. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton

Police on the scene at the site where Corey Kramer lost his life. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton

The Blacktown Youth College student had been advised several times by police not to ride on the road, a message echoed by his mother.

Police have established a critical incident investigation to determine the impact of police involvement in the crash.

Security footage appeared to show a police vehicle following the trail bike along Carlisle Avenue moments before the collision.

But Corey’s mother said she held no hard feelings towards law enforcement.

“It didn’t matter how many times he was told not to ride bikes on the road he wouldn’t listen. I think that’s why he didn’t stop because he knew he would be in trouble.

“[The police] were always fantastic with him, they were tolerant. I have no hard feelings.

“I don’t blame the driver [of the ute] either. There was no way he could have done anything. He didn’t even see it.”

Close friend Jason, 12, was riding as Corey’s pillion passenger. He sustained serious head and leg injuries. Ms Hodder said she was relieved Jason survived. “I couldn’t live with the guilt of knowing Corey survived and he didn’t.”

Corey’s death prompted an outpouring of grief from the local community. A Facebook page was set up in his honour, which has gained more than 900 likes in less than a week.

“Everyone loved Corey,” his mother said, adding that she was overwhelmed with the support she has received from the people who knew him well. 

His friends have organised a balloon releasing ceremony to be held in a park behind North St Marys shops on Saturday night. Corey’s funeral will be held on Wednesday.

Ms Hodder said her remaining four sons had not yet come to terms with Corey’s passing. His twin brother, Cody, has been “quiet” and middle child Caleb has “had his moments”. She said she would seek counselling for her family.

“The emotion is so overwhelming. I shouldn’t be in this situation, he should be here with me. I have to keep strong for my kids, everyone keeps telling me to keep my head up and I try to and people say, ‘Oh you’re heartless’,” she said.

“But I know Corey is in heaven. That gives me peace of mind. He’s up there riding that big Harley.”

Ms Hodder’s son was not the first young person to die after a motorcycle in the Mount Druitt area this year. 

She had a message for parents who were worried about their children’s behaviour – be firm.

“I wish people would start hounding their kids more,” she said.

“Make them wear a helmet or slash their tyres. It will cost a lot less in the long run.”

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