Schoolie victim a ‘great kid’ and ‘much loved’
JUST hours before he fell to his death from a Gold Coast balcony, mates of Sydney schoolie Hamish Bidgood posted Snapchat stories of a big night ahead.
"This is the beginning of the end for Hamish Bidgood," one friend joked, unaware of what was to happen.
Hours later the Turramurra High School graduate was dead after falling 11 storeys from a Surfers Paradise unit block at 5am yesterday.
Police sources said they believed the teen had been ingesting nitrous oxide using a Soda Stream machine after a night of drinking with friends.
Hamish and his friends from Sydney's upper north shore were in high spirits partying at the beach and clubs in Surfers Paradise, where they were celebrating the end of Year 12 and the start of life as adults.
Snapchat stories, which have since been deleted, showed Hamish dressed in a white T-shirt late on Wednesday night having the time of his life.
Schoolies who said they were staying on the 11th floor told the Gold Coast Bulletin they remembered a loud party in the early hours of the morning, but they could not pick exactly which room it was coming from.
"People were really loud last night, like about 5am," one schoolie said. "I wanted to put in a noise complaint because it was that loud."
Teenage girls said they watched as emergency services worked to revive Mr Bidgood on a grassed area at the hotel complex about 5am.
The girls reported seeing two police working to revive Hamish before paramedics arrived, having to jump a fence to access the pool area.
The girls, celebrating their first week after high school, said they saw Mr Bidgood covered by a blanket.
At street level, a teenage boy said police had cordoned off the street when he arrived back at the hotel about 6.30am.
"There were heaps of cops and they were saying someone had passed away," he said.
A neighbour of the building said the place was "swarming" with police about 7am.
Many Schoolies were not aware there had been a death at the building.
A police spokeswoman said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
Small canisters of nitrous oxide gas easily available in corner stores in packs of 10 for $10 are meant to be used for whipping cream. They are also known as nangs.
The 18-year-old's devastated parents, Des and Lyn Bidgood, along with his brothers Daniel and Oliver, were on their way from their Berowra Heights home to Surfers Paradise yesterday, friends said.
A close family friend of the Bidgoods said they were distraught.
"I'm absolutely gutted. He was such a great kid," the friend said.
The family - Mr Bidgood works for Family and Community Services and Ms Bidgood is a nurse - are closely involved with the small Berowra community where Hamish last night was being remembered as a keen sportsman and "much loved".
Hamish Bidgood was a keen cricket player and a member of Berowra Cricket Club.
His mates are understood to have cut their holiday short and last night were returning home after the tragedy.
The Queensland Government has specifically warned schoolies about the dangers of risky behaviour on balconies.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was sad to hear of Mr Bidgood's death
"I am so saddened to hear this young man's life was cut short. My thoughts are with his family and friends,'' Ms Berejiklian said.
"I want to encourage everyone celebrating the end of their schooling to look after themselves and each other. Nothing is more important."
Counselling was being offered to fellow teens following the death.
Red Frogs co-ordinator Andy Gourley said the volunteer group was speaking with police, but declined to comment.
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.