Tributes were flowing on Tuesday for a 17-year-old boy who was tragically hit by a bus and killed while riding his bike to school in Raymond Terrace.
Called "little brother" by those who took to social media to share their devastation at the loss of the teen, who had not yet been formally identified by police on Tuesday, the student of Irrawang High School was being remembered as fun, funny and a good friend.
"I wish it was all a dream. I'm always going to remember all the mad times with you and the boys," one friend posted to Facebook.
Another said: "Worst news I could have got. I was only with him yesterday."
Police said the teen had been riding along Mount Hall Road about 8.30am when he crossed the intersection at Clyde Circuit, not far from Irrawang High School, where he was hit by a bus.
"Despite best efforts by paramedics the boy died at the scene," police said.
A Department of Education spokesman confirmed that the boy had been a student of Irrawang High School.
"The school has extended its sincere condolences to the family and many friends of the student," he said.
"Counselling support is in place at the school and other local schools for students and staff who may have witnessed or been affected by the incident.
"The school has extended its appreciation for the care and compassion of its parents and the broader school community at this very challenging time."
In light of the tragic incident, the school postponed its Showcase performances that were due to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights "to a date to be advised".
Five ambulance crews, police, NSW Fire and Rescue and Port Stephens SES responded to the incident on Tuesday morning. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was tasked to respond but was called off.
"It was an incredibly distressing scene for emergency services and bystanders who witnessed the incident," NSW Ambulance Inspector Matt Hawke said.
"Ambulance chaplains and clinical psychologists... responded, supporting witnesses and emergency services personnel.
"It is a tough day for everybody involved."
Police established a crime scene along Mount Hall Road, which was closed to traffic until late Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking outside Links Drive, just off Mount Hall Road, long-time Raymond Terrace resident Peter McMahon said the tragedy had "shaken everyone".
"In a small town, it's a bit of a shock for everyone, particularly the locals," he said.
"There's a lot of nice young kids around here going to the high school. I've been living in this area for 20 years... You get things that happen but this is pretty much a one-off as far a fatal accident is concerned. I don't remember the last one.
"At that hour in the morning, there's bumper-to-bumper buses. It's very unfortunate that something like this has happened."
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington wrote on social media on Tuesday afternoon that news of the incident was devastating.
"Raymond Terrace's heart is breaking right now. My deepest condolences to family, friends, loved ones and the entire school community," she said.
Police said the bus will be subject to further examination. The 41-year-old male bus driver was transported to Maitland Hospital by ambulance for mandatory blood and urine testing.
Inquiries are continuing.