SUE Coles' concern for her son Jonathan's welfare intensified as the time it took him to reply to her calls and texts grew longer.
Arriving home from running a few errands to find waiting police soon confirmed her worst fears.
She and her husband Peter's oldest son Jonathan Coles was killed on Friday after his car and a truck collided about 14km west of Toowoomba on the Gore Hwy about 10.35am.
They did not know why he was driving along the highway that day. As far as they knew, he had just gone out to the post office.
The devastated parents yesterday spoke of the 36-year-old's commitment to his job as a disability support worker and his love of sport.
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Mrs Coles said her son excelled in Australian Rules football and basketball while growing up in Swan Hill, Victoria.
The Coles family moved to Toowoomba about 18 years ago, where Jonathan finished his senior schooling.
She said Jonathan and his younger brother Andrew were the best of friends and had played in a band together.
Jonathan graduated from the University of Southern Queensland in 2002 with a Bachelor of Nursing degree.
He worked as a nurse before moving into disability care.
"His specialty, really, was listening to others," Mrs Coles said.
She said her son was a much-loved uncle to Andrew's children Chanel, 4 and Jesse, 2.
"His favourite charity was World Vision.
"He has been sponsoring children for over 10 years now."
She said her son was a quiet person.
"He's been our greatest mate really."
Mrs Coles knew it would take quite some time to come to terms with his death.
"We would just love to hug him and hold him just one more time.
"Losing a child is something you never expect to do.
"We are just glad he did so many things."
Support from people who knew Jonathan through the sporting, spiritual, working and social aspects of his life has given Mr and Mrs Coles great encouragement.
"We are very grateful to the emergency services for all of the help they have rendered," Mr Coles said.