Well-known farm family loses son to crash

THE SON of a well-known farming family has been remembered as a caring person who loved cars and had a "laugh like a hyena."

Joshua Luke Rackemann, 23, was killed April 12 in a head-on smash with a logging truck on the Burnett Highway at Booubyjan, between Ban Ban Springs and Goomeri, in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

The Coalstoun Lakes man, who was known as Josh or 'Rack', was the son of peanut and grain farmers Mark and Dianne Rackemann.

Joshua Luke Rackemann, 23, was killed in a crash on April 12, 2020. Picture: Supplied
Joshua Luke Rackemann, 23, was killed in a crash on April 12, 2020. Picture: Supplied

James McAskill, 23, said his mate was a kind, funny person who would help anyone.

"He was the kind of dude, and this sounds cliche, but he was just a smiley, happy kind of guy who would go out of his way to help anyone," he said.

"He was really good natured and always trying to help people, often to his detriment at times.

"Josh was also hilarious. He was so funny and he had this ridiculously funny laugh.

"He howled like a hyena."

The Regents Park man said Mr Rackemann loved motorbike riding, fast cars, four-wheel-drives and dreamt of someday owning a Holden V8 Maloo ute.

"He owned a landcruiser. When he got his learner's (permit), that was his first car and he kept it the whole time," Mr McAskill said.

"He was always bloody working and playing around on it. We have plenty of good memories in that car."

The memorial Emma Faint set up for Joshua Luke Rackemann on Elliott Heads beach. Picture: Emma Faint
The memorial Emma Faint set up for Joshua Luke Rackemann on Elliott Heads beach. Picture: Emma Faint

Mr McAskill said Mr Rackemann was working in support care, which suited his nature perfectly.

"Josh was working with Blue Care, mostly with the disability care side of things," he said.

Any time Mr McAskill visited the farm, the two would often sit under the pergola and talk and laugh with Mr Rackemann's father, Mark.

"We would always sit out and have a bit of a chinwag," he said.

"It was hilarious cause Mark is quite a funny bloke, and Josh is funny … we used to have some good laughs."

"He was really loyal. He brightened everyone's day."

Emma Faint, 21, of Bundaberg, said Mr Rackemann loved football and once tried to teach her to drive as teenagers, instantly forgiving her when she crashed his car into a fence.

"He would honestly give the shirt off his back to anyone," she said.

Miss Faint said Mr Rackemann, who has an older brother named Cameron and a younger sister named Leah, loved his niece and nephews, Sophia, Riley and Bellamy.

"He would talk about them all the time," she said.

Describing her childhood friend as "an Australian larrikin", Miss Faint said he could always see the funny side of everything.

"Josh was always happy and taking the mickey out of everything and had a very unique laugh," she said.

Emma Faint and Josh Rackemann. Picture: Emma Faint
Emma Faint and Josh Rackemann. Picture: Emma Faint

The university student said Mr Rackemann was inspirational and was always there for his friends, even when he was going through his own health issues.

"He was always there for me. Even at 2am, he was there," she said.

Miss Faint, who was unable to attend Mr Rackemann's April 27 funeral due to the novel coronavirus restrictions, placed her own memorial at Elliott Heads beach, where they had both been before.

Along with some flowers, was a letter she had written to Mr Rackemann after hearing of his passing, along with a letter he had written to her for her 16th birthday.

"For my 16th birthday he wrote me a letter and typed it on red paper, because he knew I liked red," she said.

"It was wrapped around perfume. He did not want to wake me up so he gave it to the postman down the street to give to me.

"I was mind blown. No one had ever done anything like that for me at the time."

"Josh is that one friend that you would only ever meet once in a lifetime. … and he's left an imprint on my life."

Wide Bay forensic crash unit's Senior Constable Lee Chamberlain said the crash investigation had been completed and was now in the hands of the coroner.

Mr Rackemann was the sole occupant of the Ford sedan.

The 63-year-old man driving the truck sustained facial injuries.

Originally published as Well-known farm family loses son to crash