Flood deaths: Aunty says pair ‘didn’t deserve to die’
THE woman who raised one of the men who died during the Townsville floods says she knows the pair were "doing the wrong thing but they didn't deserve to die".
Selena Morton, aunty of 21-year-old Hughie Morton, said her family had been hurt and angered by an outpouring of comments on social media suggesting the men got what they deserved.
Ms Morton said her family had also seen a lot of racist comments coming from people online and implored the public to think of the impact such remarks had on her grieving family.
"The people saying that stuff should have thought about our feelings," Ms Morton said.
"I understand he's done something wrong but he didn't deserve to die.
"I know people (in Townsville) are angry about crime, cars getting stolen and this flood… they are all frustrated but the things some people have been saying is just taking it too far."
The bodies of Hughie Morton and Troy Mathieson were discovered by police in a stormwater drain in Aitkenvale on Tuesday when flood waters receded.
It is understood the men jumped into floodwaters in an effort to evade police who were responding to an alleged break and enter at Dan Murphy's liquor store on Ross River Rd in the early hours of Monday.
Ms Morton said she was desperately holding onto hope that her nephew would be found safe and well after he was initially reported missing and was crushed to hear news of the grim discovery.
She conceded that Hughie had been involved in crime but said it was mostly "minor".
The grieving aunty described him as the "family clown" who was always willing to help his family.
"He had a very tough life that boy, but he had a good heart," Ms Morton said.
"He had to come over from Palm (Island) as a boy because of problems with his parents.
"He lived with me in Townsville and went to school and played football, he loved football as a boy."
Ms Morton said Hughie returned to Palm Island and rekindled his relationship with his mother Lynette after his brother died more than five years ago.
She said he had got caught up with the wrong people and involved in crime over the years but she was confident if he had more time he could have got on the straight and narrow.
The Bulletin had shared three articles about the deaths on Facebook before publishing this story; each of those had to be brought down because of inappropriate comments.