A devastated father is remembering his son as his "little warrior" who endured multiple heart surgeries as a child but tragically died after being hit by a car while riding a bike.
Shaye Tallis, aged 16, was killed when he collided with a car while crossing at the traffic lights on Wattle Road, near Benson Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre on Tuesday at 6pm.
Paramedics treated Shaye for head and chest injuries, before he was flown to Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, in a critical condition, where he later died.
Fred Tallis, who lives in Barrack Heights close to the scene of the accident, said his son was "loved" in their community.
"My son was very well-known in our community," Mr Tallis said.
"He was a very outgoing, loveable kid who never caused any trouble within the house or out on the streets.
"He was just hitting his senior years of high school and I told him how proud I was that he went that far.
"He had so much potential ahead of him.
"It is such a shame that a young person like him has to be taken away at this stage of his life."
Shaye would have celebrated his 17th birthday in May with Mr Tallis saying his son "had a lot to look forward to, we all did as a family."
"I'll miss him like I can't explain. So will his siblings," he said. "But he is never going to be forgotten, that's for sure.
"He was my little warrior, he always will be.
"Shaye has always been so strong and I was hoping that would be the case again this time but you can't win every round."
The year 11 student enjoyed science and art at Warilla High School and loved taking care of animals, a passion that could have seen him become a veterinarian.
But most of all, he loved riding his bike around the neighbourhood with friends, when they weren't swimming, fishing or playing console games.
Mr Tallis said the teen never caused any drama at school and had many friends.
"Shaye was an easy going child,' he said. "I could give him $50 and he would still have it two weeks later. I said, 'how about you spend it' and he would say, 'I'm saving it'.
"If I brought him a new pair of shoes he would keep them in the box until his old ones wore out completely. He was a thinker."
Shaye's six siblings, three of which lived at Mr Tallis' Barrack Heights home, were still reeling.
"The younger ones and Shaye lived with me as a family unit, which has just been broken," Mr Tallis said.
"But it is not going to break our spirit. We have to stay strong for Shaye.
"The community around here is strong and we look after each other."
Shaye's cousin Jai Russell rode his bike to Mr Tallis' home to see how the family was coping.
Jai described feeling "shocked, sad and heartbroken" when he found out his cousin had died.
"He was funny, smart, cool to hang around but also quiet and he kept to himself," Jai said.
"We used to ride bikes together when we were six-years-old."
A Department of Education spokesman said the school community was "deeply saddened" by Shaye's death.
"The school community's thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with the student's family and friends at this most distressing time," he said.
"he Department of Education and the school are working closely with students and staff to support them at this most difficult time.
"There is and will be ongoing extensive support in place for those impacted by this tragic event."