Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.

Family of Canberran Matthew McLuckie urge other driver allegedly involved in fatal crash to 'stop hiding like cowards'

Tom McLuckie talks about the horrible moment he found out his son Matthew had died.

The family of Matthew McLuckie, the young man who died last Thursday in a head-on collision in Canberra's south say they have been left "heartbroken" by the "senseless" and "absolutely avoidable" death of their son and brother.

The 20-year-old had been travelling home from his job at the Canberra Airport when another car, allegedly travelling at high speeds on the wrong side of the road, collided with his car.

The female driver of that car was extracted from the vehicle and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

But police are still searching for the driver of a third car they believe was also involved in the incident, who officers said may have been driving on the wrong side of Hindmarsh Drive as well.

Warning: This story contains confronting images.

In a statement released this afternoon, Mr McLuckie's family described him as "caring, funny, witty, clever, and humble".

Matthew McLuckie was killed in a car accident while driving "to a home where he was loved, with his dinner waiting for him in the fridge". (Supplied)

They said Mr McLuckie had been studying at the Australian National University for a degree in Advanced Computing and had been saving up his money to purchase his first home.

"He had so much more to give, so much love to share," his family said.

"We cannot describe in words the pain of losing our son in such a senseless and absolutely avoidable accident.

Uneaten dinner and missing car the first sign that something was wrong

Mr McLuckie's father said it was the uneaten dinner that alerted him to the fact that his son had not returned home after his shift.

Tom McLuckie said he woke on Friday morning to find Matthew's dinner from the night before still in the fridge and his car not parked out the front of the house.

But he said it never occurred to him at that stage that his son might never come home again.

"You don't think, and so I came in and joked with my wife, 'I wonder if he's maybe got a girlfriend'," he said.

"But I phoned him ... at 7:20am saying 'Hey son, I'm just wondering if you went home to your mum's?', and then I texted Amanda, his mum, saying 'Did maybe Matt come to yours?'.

"I jumped in the shower to get ready for work and Amanda turned up at the door with the police, and they told us the bad news.

"The police were lovely, but there's no way to break that kind of news."

Tom McLuckie says his son Matthew was so "kind-hearted and generous". (Supplied)

He said the days since receiving the news had been "good and bad".

But he said the support of Matthew's friends and the broader Canberra community had been amazing.

"People have come around, people have brought us food, people have sent us text messages ... everyone's saying 'anything we can do for you'," he said.

"It's why we moved here; Canberra is a wonderful community. Everyone has been so lovely, so friendly, giving us all of the love in the world. It's been beautiful."

'I'm going to miss him so much'

Matthew McLuckie's family moved to Australia from Scotland in 2005. (Supplied)

Tom McLuckie said he would always remember his first day in Australia with his son, after the family emigrated from Scotland in 2005.

"When he was a baby and we first came to Australia, we got off the plane in Sydney and a friend of ours had met us at the airport. We were staying in Potts Point and we were all jet-lagged — Matthew's mum was incredibly tired and I think she'd been kept awake on the plane with him – he wasn't even three years old," he said.

"So I got up and walked from Potts Point down Mrs Macquarie's chair, all the way around the botanic gardens and we sat for breakfast at Circular Quay, and that was our first morning in Australia together.

"I'll always think of that first day in Australia together because he's beautiful and I'm going to miss him so much."

Family call for other driver to come forward

Mr McLuckie's family is pleading with speeding drivers to understand the consequences of their actions. (ABC News)

Mr McLuckie's family have called on the driver of a third vehicle allegedly involved in the incident, who has failed to present to police, to turn themselves in. 

"For those who took part in the incident and chose to drive away from the horrific accident, we implore you to have the courage to accept the consequences of your actions," they said.

His family also asked for anyone who has been racing on Canberra's streets over the past few months to recognise that their actions could have grievous consequences.

"It may all seem like a bit of fun, a great thrill, a good laugh and something to do with your mates, but your actions have consequences," they said.

Mr McLuckie's family said they hoped speaking about his death may help stop any other families from experiencing the same loss they were going through. 

"If this message can save just one life, stop another family from being shattered and broken, then no matter how painful our loss is, maybe our son has not died for nothing other than a cheap thrill," they said.

Matthew's father has also kept pieces of debris — some still in police evidence bags — from his son's crash.

The items include a piece of mirror and Matthew's P-plates, which he said had flown from the car on impact.