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Lachlan McLaren pictured hours before he was killed by ute in Melbourne


A photo of a teenager who died on his 16th birthday after a speeding ticket hit him has emerged showing him hours before he died.

Lachlan McLaren was walking his girlfriend, Ella Mahony, home in August last year when a methamphetamine-rich driver drove up the trail in Mentone, south Melbourne.

The Year 10 student from Mentone Grammar pushed Ms Mahony out of the way just in time, but was hit and killed by the out-of-control car.

The image shows Lachlan McLaren standing in front of purple ’16’ balloons (pictured) hours before the crash, which his mother said ‘broke his heart into a million pieces’.

The image shows him standing in front of purple ’16’ balloons hours before the accident, which his mother said ‘broke his heart into a million pieces’.

The driver, Christopher Hennessey, 32, was sentenced in Victoria County Court on Monday to 16 years in prison with 11 years without parole.

Hennessey didn’t have a license and was speeding on the wrong side of the Nepean highway before the rental vehicle swerved into the road.

Judge Michael Tinney told the court that Hennesey was “death on wheels” and had not slept for days at the time of the crash.

The teenager’s father, Carey McLaren, told Seven News the family was still “overwhelmed with unbearable shock”.

The teenager's girlfriend, Ella Mahony, (pictured) told the court:

The teenager’s girlfriend Ella Mahony (pictured) told the court: ‘I lost Lachie and a part of me that day’ as she and her family read their victim impact statements last week.

“Lachie’s murderer was held accountable for his selfish, negligent and despicable actions,” he said in court Monday.

Emotional statements about the victim impact of the teenager’s family and girlfriend were read out last week at a plea hearing.

Ms Mahony told the court she had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder since her son’s death.

“I lost Lachie and a part of me that day, two things I will never get back,” his statement read, according to Seven News.

Mr McLaren’s mother, Michelle, told the court she had sat with her son’s lifeless body for hours, wishing his eyes would open.

Ms Mahony (pictured) told the court she had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder since the tragedy

Ms Mahony (pictured) told the court she had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder since the tragedy

Lachlan McLaren, 16 (pictured) died saving his girlfriend's life, on her birthday

Lachlan McLaren, 16 (pictured) died saving his girlfriend’s life, on her birthday

“I had to walk away and leave my baby in a box and it broke my heart into a million pieces,” she said.

His father told the court that he had been blinded by rage since his son’s death.

“I don’t know who I am anymore,” he said.

Hennessey had driven 800m on the wrong side of the highway before sinking into his teens on August 15, 2021.

He was later charged with culpable conduct causing death.

Hennessy was found guilty and appeared in court via video link last week, keeping his head down as victim impact statements were read.

The boy’s father, Carey, asked how an unlicensed, drug-addicted driver could hire an ute.

He called for the introduction of digital driving licenses to prevent further deaths at the hands of careless drivers.

“Lachie’s life mattered,” he said.

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