US family fights for return of son?s body



THE American family of a teenager killed killed in a motor vehicle crash at Bonville last month have described the 'awful' time they had getting their son's body back to Tennessee for burial.

Melissa Raithel told American media outlet Knox News her family had difficulty getting Australian authorities to release the body of her son, David Raithel, 16, until they were satisfied they had positive identification.

He had been kept in 'cold storage' and according to Mrs Raithel, was to be kept that way until $6000 was sent to Australia.

Also killed in the collision were South Grafton residents Randy Rodgers, 48, his wife, Dot Rodgers, 57, and Mr Rodgers' mother, Lorain Belcher, 77.

It is believed Randy Rodgers, the uncle of David Raithel, had moved to Australia only six months ago from the US.

The teenager's family also issued an appeal in the US in attempt to raise the $US20,000 required to have the body returned to the US and for the burial.

He was buried on July 15.

The condition of the fourth person in the vehicle, 15-year-old Delana Redmon, also of the US, was this week listed as stable and improving in Sydney's St George Hospital.

Her parents have been by her bedside since arriving from the UStates in early July, and she'll return home with them as soon as arrangements can be made.

Delana awoke from her induced coma on July 4 and has since made a steady recovery.



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