Town in mourning as 14-year-old Geelong boy dies after ‘chroming’ deodorant vapours
Friends of a 14-year-old Geelong boy are shocked with news the "beautiful boy gone to soon" died after inhaling aerosol vapours.
Northern Bay College student Pheonix Werner was found dead on Friday night at his Norlane home, News Corp reported.
Police believe his death was a result of the teen inhaling deodorant cans with friends, known as "huffing" or "chroming".
An inquest will formally determine what caused the teen's death, which has rocked the boy’s family and friends.
A minute’s silence was observed during a local footy match in the boy’s honour.
His cousin Chels Okeefe set up a [gofundme.com/pheonixshonouring|GoFundMe] page to help the family cover funeral costs. So far more than $1,300 has been raised.
She shared her grief to social media, saying: “Words cannot describe how much I miss you already.”
“You should have been out playing on that Football field today!” she wrote on her Facebook account on Sunday, with a photo of Pheonix’s number 11 guernsey.
One friend wrote: “Rest in peace beautiful boy, gone to soon. Still doesn’t feel real. Please come back.”
Another remembers the teen as a “beautiful, well mannered young man” with so much ahead of him.
While expressing her grief of the young life taken too soon, another cousin Tayla Haig took to social media to highlight the risks of the deadly cheap high.
“Really push for all these young kids to not be doing this pathetic croming (sic) business any longer,” she posted.
“Just shows how fast it can take a life and there is no more needed to be taken after our beautiful boy Pheonix Werner has been,” she wrote.
“Still within out hearts and in our thoughts. We all love you bud.”
As the devastating news travelled to the Northern Bay College campuses on Monday morning, counselling services were offered to students.
Police said death as a result inhaling aerosol vapours was not something they had not experienced before, and called Friday’s tragedy “horrendous”.
“To be quite honest, I’ve never heard of it before in my life ... In my 17 years or so in the police force, I’ve never heard of that before,” Corio sergeant Dan Willsmore said.
“There were a number of cans of spray deodorant lying around, in the house, in the street and that was a bit peculiar.
“It just goes to show the dangers of doing anything to the extreme.”
News break – April 18