'He will never be forgotten': Promising WA basketballer killed in horror crash
A Perth man has been killed one week after his 18th birthday in an horrific crash that crushed his car and left his family and friends heartbroken.
Joel Burton has been remembered as an irreplacable friend but what led to him smashing into a tree remains a mystery.
The teenager was driving alone in his Nissan Patrol around 12.30am today along Vahland Road in Riverton, in Perth's southeast, when the vehicle collided with the tree and was crushed.
Local resident Pamo Jayathilke ran outside from his home with his dad and desperately tried to save the young man's life.
"I just ran there, tried to open the left side - I couldn't," he told 9News.
"Ran to the right side, I couldn't. I was like, I can't do anything, there's nothing I can do. (We) tried pulling him out but we couldn't."
The former Willetton Senior High School student was a promising basketballer with a bright future who "was just a light-hearted, easy-going, kind person," a family spokesperson said today.
The teen was offered a scholarship to play college basketball in the United States last year but turned it down to stay in Perth with his family and friends.
They have since shared tributes to the young man.
"He was like a brother... There's no bringing him back, I'll miss him so much," friend Tristan Jacques said.
"He had every opportunity... at his fingertips. He could've done everything and anything with his life.
"Joel will always live on through us. He will never be forgotten."
9News understands the apprentice mechanic had been at a friend's house before the fatal crash.
Major crash investigators are now examining what could have led to the incident.