‘Fast car lover’ mourned by family after crash death
A gut-wrenching visit to the morgue has given a "big Greek family" some comfort after their 19-year-old son and brother died in a tragic car crash last week.
Michael Barsi died sitting in the front passenger seat of his mate's Nissan 200SX after it smashed in to power pole, snapping it in half, on King Georges Rd in Hurstville, about 2.15am.
Bianca Barsi, 21, said her mother Nicki, father Michael and younger brother Dominic have been leaning on family since the heartbreaking incident last weekend.
The former student of Marist Catholic College, Penshurst, was only a four-minute drive from home.
"The police came to our door that morning and said: 'Sorry for your loss, your son has died in a car accident'," Michael's sister Ms Barsi said.
"I still feel like he's just going to walk through the door now."
Ms Barsi said Michael had a passion for cars and spending time with his mates.
"He did that every Friday and Saturday night. We knew all the boys. We've known some since he was in Year 7. They're family at the end of the day," she said.
Ms Barsi told friends on social media he "was a good boy".
"He was a good boy who didn't take risks, was always very careful but loved fast cars," she said.
Being the first-born boy, Ms Barsi said Michael always acted the eldest even though he was her younger brother.
"He'd tell me off for spending money and not saving. He was a shy, timid kid but when you got to know him, he was such a playful person at heart," she said.
"We were always making fun of each other. Because I don't have my licence, we went on drives and laughed. I'll always remember those times. He was caring and always giving out good advice.
"This is the first time I have lost someone close to me. It's harder on my little brother Dominic, he's only 14."
Ms Barsi said Michael was "inseparable" from his father and colleague. He had planned to continue the Barsi & Sons family carpentry business.
"My dad's taking it really bad," she said.
"They worked together everyday for the past two-three years. They would build houses and fix cars."
Ms Barsi said her family wanted the funeral to be a "celebration" but COVID restrictions were making it difficult to plan.
"My brother is never going to be a groom, so for Greeks, we see this as celebrating a wedding," he said.
"He saw his friends as family. We want to dedicate this to his friends also. We haven't set a date yet. We don't know what we'll do about numbers."
But a confronting visit to the morgue gave Ms Barsi some closure.
"My brother had a smile on his face. That gives me comfort," she said.
Ms Barsi said the 18-year-old back-seat passenger had been her brother's best friend since primary school.
"He used to come over everyday. Our families are really close. He's taking it really hard," she said.
"They were all friends. They picked what they wanted to do. We're not angry."
Ms Barsi said a GoFundMe account has been created to raise money for young crash victims' families.
She said they might organise a car show to raise money down the track.
"We have a big Greek family. Some people don't have that help. We want to do something positive and something Michael would have liked," she said.
At the time, police said speed was being investigated as a cause of the crash.
Henry Piho, who lived near the crash site, gave CPR to Michael.
"It was devastating. Absolute carnage," Mr Piho said.
"There have been three crashes on this road in the past year. This is sadly the first fatal. Every day since has been sad. I think about it before I go to sleep."
The father-of-four said Michael's father visited him earlier this week.
"He asked me where his son took his last breath," he said. "We had a coffee together and I prayed for him."
A NSW Police spokeswoman said no charges had been laid.
The spokeswoman said the driver of a Volkswagen Golf at the scene was breath tested but the results came back negative.
She said police were still planning on interviewing the driver of the car Michael was a passenger in.
Originally published as 'Fast car lover' mourned by family after crash death