The devastated mate of 15-year-old boy killed during an act of kindness was forced to make a gut-wrenching call to his mother to tell her he had died.
John Keegan, 15, was taken out by a truck on Friday night near a dangerous intersection in central-west NSW.
The year 10 student had been a passenger in his friend's Toyota ute when it rear-ended a BMW waiting to turn right off the Mitchell Highway near Orange in what was described as a minor crash.
John had rushed to the aid of an elderly couple in the BMW when he was hit and killed by a passing truck travelling in the opposite direction.
His mother Penny Keegan has now recalled the frantic call from her son's friend about the crash, as well as the mad dash to the scene where police held her back, shielding her from the horrific smash.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Tributes continue to flow for much-loved year 10 student John Keegan, 15, (pictured) killed while coming to the aid of an elderly couple
Describing the call to 7News, Ms Keegan said the tragedy had been a 'horrible nightmare'.
'Penny, I'm so so sorry, we've had an accident,' the friend told her.
'I said, "where are you darling? We'll come and get you", just thinking they were bogged or something, I don't know,' Ms Keegan said.
'He said there was a lot of people there... "it's really bad".'
Ms Keegan and her husband Jason found out at the hospital an hour later that their eldest son hadn't made it, only to receive more devastating news.
Her dad rang 20 minutes later to say her mum Jenny, 76, had lost her battle with dementia, having spent all of the last week caring for her.
Ms Keegan remembered her eldest son as cheeky prankster and the 'dead set coolest kid' who was loved by everyone, including his teachers.
He also loved playing rugby league and video games with his mates.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'That was his life - his footy, his mates, he always wanted to do something, go somewhere,' Ms Keegan said.
John leaves behind two older sisters Xanthe and Bonnie, three younger siblings Eva, Freya and Beau, as well as dozens of heartbroken extended family and friends.
Jenny Kellett (right) died within minutes of her grandson on Friday night (pictured, left, as a toddler)
John's heartbroken family aren't surprised his final moments were spent helping others.
'Despite this being a heartbreaking time for the entire family, we are so proud that the caring qualities he displayed throughout his life were exemplified in his final moments,' a family statement read.
'Although too short, we feel truly blessed to have had John touch our lives in such a profound way and leave us with such indelible memories. His absence will be felt by (us), his four sisters, younger brother and his extended family.
'The close friendships he forged with so many was testament to his fun-loving, loyal nature.'
John's tragic death has sparked an outpouring of community grief as his school and junior footy clubs led the heartfelt tributes.
John Keegan, 15, (pictured) was tragically hit and killed by a truck as he tried to help the elderly passengers of a BMW hatchback after a minor incident near Orange on Friday night
'Our thoughts, prayers and love are with the family and friends of Year 10 student, John Keegan, who has been tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident,' James Sheahan Catholic High posted