Wayne Miles.ANYONE who knew Wayne Miles could tell you his favourite day of the year was Australia Day.
The “top-notch bloke” had planned to celebrate this Monday by holding a party at his Warners Bay home – having a drink with friends, taking a dip in the blow-up pool and listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100.
But his family and friends were left devastated on “Wayne’s day” when he died at 8.40am in John Hunter Hospital’s intensive care unit – about half an hour after the decision was made to switch off his life support.
Wayne, 29, had been hanging out at home with five friends on Sunday night when he decided to duck “around the corner” to get some Panadol for his girlfriend and an energy drink.
Because the servo was such a short distance away, he decided to take a friend’s motorcycle, a Honda CBR250R, parked at his place.
It was a quick decision made in a moment – he did not have a licence to ride the bike and he had had a few drinks.
Holly Curtis, Wayne’s best friend, noticed he’d been gone too long and decided to make her way home from his place, looking for him on the way.
It didn’t take long for her to discover police and paramedics at the intersection of King St and Myles Ave– and she immediately realised who was involved in the accident.
Police believe the motorcycle hit the kerb about 12.15am, mounting the footpath and hitting a sign post.
Wayne was thrown on to the roadway and was taken to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition.
Holly was among the many friends and family who gathered at Kahibah Sports Club on Monday – Wayne’s local – to pay tribute to a ‘‘genuine’’ man with a “heart of gold”.
It was the place where Wayne, a carpenter by trade, would hang out with his father, Dave, on Wednesday and Friday nights to participate in the raffle and play some pool.
Wayne, who grew up in Eleebana, also ran a pool competition there on Thursdays, which he’d more often than not win.
“He adopted me as his little sister,” Holly said.
“I met him here [at Kahibah Sports Club] seven years ago.
“He always put a smile on anyone’s face.
“He was one of the funniest guys; the most kind-hearted person.
“If anyone needed something, Wayne was the man.
“He was very talented in all aspects – he was a great pool player, a smooth talker and phenomenal dancer.”
She said that Wayne was happy and in love after recently beginning a new relationship with girlfriend Jade Bass.
Heartbroken father, Dave, said his son made the most of every second of life.
“He wasn’t just my son, he was my best friend,” he said.
“He loved life. I can’t believe this happened on Australia Day because of the one day every year this was it.
“Australia Day was Wayne’s day.”
Holly said everyone was devastated and still coming to terms with the loss.
“They are thinking positive, they are absolutely distraught and so upset,” she said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet; we keep thinking this can’t be real.’’