Shocking twist in tragic deaths of children
The wreckage of a crumpled stolen car lies on its roof by a roadside, the metal ripped from its shell, where four children are dead in a horror crash that some expected would come but never imagined would be so tragic.
This was the shocking reality that confronted first responders today, leaving them scarred and the community shaking their heads in disbelief as they ask how a group of teenagers were allowed to leave their homes and drive a car to their deaths.
Two boys and two girls, aged between 14 and 18 years old, were killed after stealing a car from Idalia early Sunday morning and crashing at Bayswater Rd. They were found dead at the scene.
The 14-year-old driver survived and was released from police custody this afternoon.
He was still assisting with police inquiries and has not been charged yet.
The Bulletin understands some of the children were known to the Department of Child Safety and were in state care.
The Department refused to comment on their situations, spruiking the Child Protection Act requirements for its silence.
The tragic incident has horrified police, including Acting Superintendent Glen Pointing who was visibly shaken when he told the Bulletin about the moments leading up to the crash.
The car was reportedly driving down the wrong side of a road when it clipped the roundabout at Duckworth St, rolled and hit a traffic light.
Police sighted the car earlier that night but did not pursue.
Supt Pointing said police would get to the bottom of exactly what happened as mourners arrived at the crash site this afternoon to lay flowers.
"It's a tragedy for the children and for the families and confronting for the first responders, everyone involved," he said.
"No one wants to see a tragedy like this, it's a terrible outcome."
A Vincent resident, who was shocked at the sight of the damaged Kia SUV, said he watched the car speed around his neighbourhood with another red car that was confirmed stolen by police.
The man was rattled by the ordeal, knowing he'd seen the car just two hours before it crashed.
"They were doing at least 120km/h down Hodges Cres … there were no police around, just these two cars and they just kept doing blocks," he said.
Forensic Crash Unit were investigating and still piecing together the identities of the children.
Supt Pointing said it was too early to tell whether the parents would be charged.
Founder of One Community One Standard Jeff Adams said it was a sad day for the entire Townsville community.
"These children are a product of the society we have created today where it seems we would rather throw money at the symptoms of these problems to appease different groups rather than have the courage to speak honestly and to attack the root cause of our problems," he said.
"Now is the time that we, as a united community, need to come together like never before and play our part in demanding immediate action focused on achieving the generational change we require."
Originally published as Shocking twist in tragic deaths of children