News People Tow truck driver in Brisbane crash a ‘split second’ from tragedy: Sister

Tow truck driver in Brisbane crash a ‘split second’ from tragedy: Sister

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A tow truck driver narrowly escaped tragedy when his truck was hit by the same teenager who allegedly killed a pregnant couple in Alexandra Hills on Tuesday, his sister has revealed.

Daniel Edie was en route to a separate crash involving the 17-year-old when he was struck by the allegedly stolen 4WD at the intersection where Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter were killed.

Mr Edie’s sister said her brother was a “split second away from a different scenario”.

Mr Edie was too distraught to talk, but stood alongside his sister on Friday morning as she gave a short statement on his behalf.

“As a passenger in a vehicle that … seeing it happen in front of him and being so helpless, that changes the whole scenario,” Samantha Rasborsek said.

“He’s no longer just someone attending a scene like emergency services, but he was in it and split seconds from, you know, a different scenario.

“We are extremely lucky and grateful that he only received cuts and bruises and no serious physical injuries but the mental and emotional impact is greater then we can imagine for him.”

Matt Field and Kate Leadbetter were killed in the hit-and-run.

Ms Rasborsek said in the moments after the crash, her brother jumped out to try to help Ms Leadbetter and Mr Field.

“He also immediately went into automatic mode and diverted traffic away from the scene,” she said.

“He stayed and cleaned up the accident scene as everything was taken away that night.”

Mr Edie’s truck was impounded for evidence, and he cannot work until the police complete their investigation, Ms Rasborsek said.

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Daniel Edie’s tow truck was hit by the 4WD before it rolled onto a pregnant couple and killed them at Alexandra Hills. Photo: ABC

Police alleged the teenager, from the Logan suburb of Waterford West, had been driving dangerously while “affected with an intoxicating substance” after allegedly stealing the Landcruiser about an hour before the two crashes.

He has been charged with two counts of murder and dangerous driving while affected by an intoxicating substance.

Police are awaiting autopsy results to decide whether there will be more charges over the death of Ms Leadbetter and Mr Field’s unborn child.

On Friday, Queensland’s Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll took the unusual step of addressing the 17-year-old’s criminal history, after some media outlets reported he had an extensive rap sheet and raised questions about why he was on bail.

Ms Carroll said the youth’s criminal matters were dealt with “some time ago” and he was facing minor traffic matters before the tragedy.

“I think you need to get the facts right, that the person was actually on bail for a traffic matter … a traffic matter where people would actually not be remanded for,” she said.

“I think we [need] to get that straight – but we do need to have a conversation about this.

“We do need to go back and say, ‘Could we learn from this?’.

“We all should be angry about such a tragic event and make sure that we can stop it from happening again.”

Ms Carroll said she had spoken to Deidre Mulkerin, the Director-General of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women “to look at the whole history of the life of this child and what interventions took place”.

“We are going back into the history to look at what else should be done, could be done and what we need to learn from and what we need to change into the future.”

Asked how such events could be prevented, Ms Carroll said: “I don’t know if you can. There are moments in time that tragedies happen. And I’m hoping that we can go back and learn from it.”

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Mr Edie’s tow truck is being examined by police for evidence. Photo: Reliable Towing

‘Threat of mistrial’ through reporting

Meanwhile, legal experts are warning the public and media that disclosing information about the 17-year-old involved in the Alexandra Hills incident could derail the course of justice.

President of the Queensland Law Society Bill Potts told ABC Radio Brisbane there were serious consequences for individuals who “name and shame” and media outlets who publicise prejudicial information.

“When [people] react you get this tsunami of grief and anger and rather than thinking about trying to achieve justice for our society for these people who have found themselves killed they rush headlong, vigilante style, to give some affect to their anger,” he said.

“The unfortunate problem with that is that it can have the effect of causing a mistrial or simply disrupting the whole justice process.

“The Youth Justice Act is clear that they can’t be identified, they can’t be photographed and they can’t have their addresses plastered on the internet or indeed anywhere,” he said.

Mr Potts said if an accused was named in social media posts or identified in the media, courts could rule that it would not be possible to get a fair trial or that an impartial jury could not be empanelled because of such widespread coverage.

“It can have terrible consequences for the loved one of the people who have died.

“They want justice, they want a day in court but they don’t want that, I presume, sullied by people who think they are doing the right thing but are in effect doing harm,” he said.

Mr Potts warned that inappropriate reporting of the accused teenager may jeopardise a fair trial. Photo: ABC

Teens charged in separate incident

In a separate incident, police have arrested and charged two teenagers after an alleged car stealing spree in Brisbane’s south on Thursday.

Police said two silver Mercedes-Benz cars and a white Toyota Landcruiser were stolen during a burglary at Sungold Place, Eight Mile Plains, about 1.45am on Thursday.

A short time later, one of the stolen cars was involved in a crash on Victor Street.

The pair, aged 15 and 17, were arrested about 1.30pm.

Both were denied bail and remanded in police custody until their appearance in the Children’s Magistrates Court.