Teen from #northern ##beached #killed in #camping 4WD #incident

YOUTH support services on the northern beaches are offering counselling to those affected by the death of a popular teenager who died after a 4WD rolled during a weekend camping trip.

Oscar Valentin, 18, of Elanora Heights, was killed on Saturday morning on a private property at Cudgegong, about 25km south of Mudgee, in the state’s central west.

A 17-year-old youth from Narrabeen was driving the utility when the incident occurred, just before 8.30am.

Authorities said Mr Valentin died after he was thrown from the front passenger seat of the ute when it skidded down an embankment on the property just off the Castlereagh Highway.

There were other passengers in the vehicle, aged between 17 and 19. None of them were injured.

The Brookvale-based Burdekin Association, which supports young at risk people and their families, has started three-hour drop-in counselling sessions, as part of its Avalon Youth Hub services, for anyone who wants help dealing with the tragedy.

Mr Valentin’s former school, Mater Maria College at Warriewood, is offering counselling to students affected by the incident. Youth workers are also visiting skate parks at Mona Vale and Avalon this week to encourage friends of Mr Valentin to think about attending counselling.

On Saturday, six ambulances and the NSW Ambulance helicopter were sent to the accident scene.

The driver received minor injuries and was taken to Mudgee Base Hospital by ambulance.

The occupants of the ute used CPR to try to revive Mr Valentin before paramedics arrived at the scene.

Police said he was treated by paramedics and later died.

Inspector David Maher from the Orana Mid-Western Police District said officers set up a crime scene on the property.

“The Bathurst Crash Investigation Unit is looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident and a report will be made to the Coroner,” Insp Maher said.

Burdekin CEO Justene Gordon said a mother of one of the young people who witnessed the accident was seeking support for her son in the days after the incident.

“There has been a co-ordinated response from youth services across the northern beaches to help those affected in some way by this incident,” Ms Gordon said.

“Professional counselling and guidance is available between 3pm and 6pm on Wednesday and Thursday this week at the Mona Vale Library. More sessions may be scheduled if required.”

Mater Maria principal Mark Reicher said Mr Valentin had friends at the college, which he left last year.

“All of our students have been told that we have made counselling available,” Mr Reicher said.

Mr Valentin’s friends have posted tributes on facebook, describing him as a “gentle soul with the brightest smile”.

No charges have been laid against the driver over the incident.

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