A 14-year-old boy is facing multiple charges including drug possession after the stolen car he was allegedly driving crashed and killed four other teenagers.
Two girls and two boys, believed to be aged between 14 and 18, died after the Kia Sorrento sedan went onto the wrong side of the road before clipping a roundabout, rolling and striking a light pole in Townsville.
The four teenagers died at the scene on the corner of Duckworth Street and Bayswater Road at Garbutt around 4.30am Sunday morning.
Their deaths have prompted calls for better youth support programs in the region, with Townsville MP Scott Stewart on Monday telling ABC radio the Labor government would explore what changes could be implemented.
“I’m sure next week when we have our parliamentary sitting we’ll be sitting down with the premier, and a number of other ministers including the youth justice minister, looking at our programs and what we are doing, how do we get this change happening and what further do we need to do.
The driver of the vehicle was taken to Townsville University Hospital in a stable condition after suffering minor injuries.
In a statement released just before midnight Sunday, Queensland police revealed the 14-year-old driver was charged with the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
He was also charged with two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and burglary, as well as a count of possessing dangerous drugs.
A witness told the Townsville Bulletin that he was convinced an accident was about to occur.
“They were doing at least 120km down Hodges Crescent and I said to my missus they’re going to kill someone, there were no police around, just these two cars and they just kept doing blocks,” he told the paper, on the condition of anonymity.
Police said they had not been pursuing the stolen sedan when it crashed.
“It looks like the vehicle has clipped a roundabout on Duckworth St causing it to roll,” Superintendent Assistant District Officer Glen Pointing told reporters on Sunday.
“At no stage did the police pursue that vehicle or try to intercept that vehicle.”
Mr Pointing said police were “still undertaking the preliminary investigations” and “will interact with the families and get to the bottom of how this tragic event occurred”.
“Police have seen that vehicle earlier in the night. And there was another stolen vehicle getting around to Townsville last night, and there were some reports that those vehicles were getting around the streets driving dangerously.”
The driver is due to appear in Townsville Children’s Court this month.