Family urges public to 'put judgements aside' for boy killed in crash amid gang speculation

The family of a 14-year-old boy killed in a horror crash that left five other children injured is asking for people to remember him for the “kind and caring” boy they remember him as.

Jacob Hopkins, from Redcliffe, was one of six occupants of the car that ran a red light, collided with another vehicle and wound up wrapped around a pole at Rothwell, north of Brisbane on Wednesday.

Police allege the vehicle, driven by another 14-year-old boy who was critically injured in the crash, was stolen.

Fourteen-year-old Jacob Hopkins died in the crash on Wednesday.
Fourteen-year-old Jacob Hopkins died in the crash on Wednesday. Source: GoFundMe

There have been several reports in the media that Jacob was affiliated to local Redcliffe gang Northside.

Jacob’s great-aunt took to Facebook on Friday afternoon to quash speculation about his lifestyle and urged others to allow her family to grieve his death.

“Today I want to let all the judgements left aside to remember a young life taken too soon,” Kaylene Conradi said.

“Jacob Hopkins was a kind, caring boy who loved everyone and lived life to the full of his abilities.

Jacob Hopkins poses for a photograph while sitting on the bonnet of a car. Source: Facebook
Jacob's family say he wasn't a bad kid, and should be remembered as an 'amazing, funny' teen. Source: Facebook

“He wasn’t a bad kid, he was amazing, funny and loved by all the girls.”

She went on to say the family was distressed over “false allegations” circulating regarding Jacob.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Jacob’s funeral expenses where he was remembered as a “loving, loyal and ambitious young man” by the organiser, Tiffany Hopkins.

“Regardless of the circumstances, Jacob is remembered by many as a loving, loyal and ambitious young man who had strong ties to his family and friends.”

So far over $900 of a $5000 target has been raised.

“So very sorry for your loss. My son was a good friend of Jacob and he is heartbroken,” one mother wrote on the page.

Several tributes posted on social media used the hashtags #forjacob and #stopcrime.

The wreckage of the allegedly stolen car, wrapped around a pole in Rothwell, north of Brisbane.
Police allege the vehicle involved in the crash was stolen. Source: Facebook/Moreton Alert

A handful of comments appeared online from people suggesting a GoFundMe page was inappropriate considering the circumstances surrounding the crash.

On Thursday afternoon, police charged the driver, from Waterford West, with one count each of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, unlicensed driving and failing to stop for a red traffic light.

A 10-year-old female passenger of the vehicle from Kallangur has also been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Two other girls aged 14 and 16, and a 13-year-old boy were also injured and transported to hospital.

The occupants of the second car, a mother and her four children, escaped serious injury.

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