LEGEND: Lawrence “Blocka” Vella died on Thursday night while working on his HQ Statesman. INSET: Blocka driving his beloved Statesman.
LEGEND: Lawrence “Blocka” Vella died on Thursday night while working on his HQ Statesman. INSET: Blocka driving his beloved Statesman. Contributed

Lawrence ‘Blocka’ Vella pinned under car and killed

A YOUNG life was tragically cut short on Thursday night.

Twenty-six year old Lawrence "Blocka" Vella was working on his beloved Holden HQ Statesman at his Mt Walker family home when the trolley jack fell.

Inspector Keith McDonald said the jack had been placed onto bricks instead of stands.

"When the jack fell, the bricks gave way and he was crushed by the car," he said.

His mother Tracey found him.

About 8pm she went to the garage where her only son was working on the car that was his life.

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"He loved that car and worked on it all the time," she said.

Tracey told her son, who was known to all as Blocka, that dinner was ready. He asked her to come and get him in an hour so that he could finish working on the car.

When she returned later, she discovered him pinned beneath it.

"She went to get a neighbour who helped her pull the car up and get Lawrence out from under it. She attempted to revive her son with CPR until the ambulance arrived, but he was pronounced dead at the scene," Insp McDonald said.

Close friend Bruce Frizell said Lawrence was a gentle giant who worshipped his classic Holden HQ Statesman and together with his father Sam, ran the school bus services in the Rosevale and Mt Walker area.

"He was a lovely young man and a true gentleman," Mr Frizell said.

"The kids loved him driving the school bus because he would always turn the music up for them."

Lawrence participated in numerous car events and was the administrator of the HQ Owners Group on Facebook where he would help other HQ owners with advice, source parts and services.

The social media car community was deeply saddened by the news of his death.

Shan Jashar said he was a much-loved member of the HQ scene in Brisbane.

"He would help you out in any way possible. He had a heart of gold and a personality to match," he said.

Andrew Wilson called it a tragic loss and echoed an appeal for car owners to exercise caution and safety when working on vehicles.

"Please always use stands when working on your cars," he said.

Friend Brendon Hays said it had been gut-wrenching to receive the news.

"He was a truly great guy. It is a big loss to a great amount of people. He will be deeply missed," he said.

Steve Bailey posted this heartfelt tribute to the HQ Owners Group: "Block was a real nice, genuine and helpful bloke. I am proud to say I knew him as a friend."

Lawrence's father and sister were out of the country when the incident occurred.

"His dad had flown to Malta to visit family on Tuesday night, and had only been there for a few hours before it happened," Tracey said.

He immediately made preparations to return to Australia. He arrived home last night, a few hours after his daughter arrived in Brisbane from London, where she had been living for the past few months.

A funeral for Blocka will be held at 10am on September 21 at St Brigid's at Rosewood.


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