A “heartbroken” mother and father whose 26-year-old son died following a “harrowing” quad bike crash while on holiday in Turkey are now pleading with other families not to use the vehicles.

Matthew Steward, from Harwich, died in the early hours of May 14 after the quad bike he was travelling on with his friend Cory Dove, also 26, collided with another vehicle.

Matthew had travelled to Fethiye on May 12 for a family holiday with his 24-year-old partner Dannielle Rose and her daughter from a previous relationship, Ruby, six, and their son Roman, three.

Loved - Matthew Steward, Danielle Rose, and their familyLoved - Matthew Steward, Danielle Rose, and their family (Image: PA)

On the night of May 13, Dannielle said Matthew and Cory left the hotel to go to a shop on the quad bike.

Hours later, at about midnight, she was told the “distressing” news they had died, and she and Cory’s partner needed to identify the bodies.

Matthew’s parents, Lisa, 42, and Gavin Steward, 44, claim they have been “lied to” and given incorrect information surrounding the incident.

Speaking about the impact of his death, Lisa told PA Real Life: “Dannielle can’t go home at the moment, she’s finding it very difficult to go home, and we’re just heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken.

“He’s got a twin brother, James, and they did everything together. They didn’t have many friends, they had each other, and he’s just said: ‘My life’s done, my other half is gone.’

“We just have to keep going for him and the children. It’s just heartbreaking.”

Couple - Matthew Steward met Dannielle Rose at schoolCouple - Matthew Steward met Dannielle Rose at school (Image: PA)

Matthew, who worked at a local electrical manufacturing company, was described as charitable, outdoorsy, caring and shy by his family.

The family said the weeks since his death have been “absolute hell”.

They are now urging other families not to use quad bikes as “no one needs this heartache”.

Lisa said: “As a mother, you’re supposed to protect your children and I can’t do that for him – that’s the hardest thing for me, not being able to make it better for him, there’s nothing I can do.

“Families out there need to realise quad biking is classed as an extreme sport, so you’re not insured.

“These quad bikes are dangerous. Don’t go on them, no one needs this heartache. It’s not worth it.”

Inquest opened and fundraiser set up

An inquest into the deaths of Matthew Steward and Cory Dove was opened and adjourned at Essex Coroner’s Court on June 12.

The hearing heard the friends, from Harwich, were involved in a road traffic collision with another vehicle in the early hours of May 14, and they died from their wounds.

The senior coroner for Essex, Lincoln Brookes, explained a full hearing would be held in February 2025.

Since the tragic incident, Lisa, Gavin, and Dannielle are now fundraising to cover any legal and other expenses they will be billed for such as for a solicitor and translator, which they estimate to be in the thousands, and to purchase a headstone for Matthew.

They hope to put the headstone down at Dovercourt Cemetery, in Harwich, so family, friends and the children can visit and pay their respects.

Along with releasing lanterns in memory of Matthew, they are planning his funeral for July 4, which will be a “celebration” of his life, and they said spending time together as a family is helping them cope with grief.

To find out more about the fundraiser, visit: gofundme.com/f/matthew-steward.