Teen charged with pregnant couple's murder was out on bail

 

A teenager charged with murder after a couple walking their dog were hit and killed in a horror crash involving an allegedly stolen car at Alexandra Hills in Brisbane's east, was out on bail for driving offences.

The couple killed were a 37-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman who was understood to be six months pregnant, both from Alexandra Hills.

Police allege a 17-year-old Waterford West male, whose charges include two counts of murder and one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle (adversely affected by an intoxicating substance), was driving the stolen vehicle.

He will appear in the Brisbane Children's Court today.

News Corp understands the teen was on bail for driving offences, including evading police.

Police and onlookers at the scene of the crash on Finucane Rd. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Police and onlookers at the scene of the crash on Finucane Rd. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Police will allege the teen was driving the stolen 4WD Toyota LandCruiser on Tuesday night which smashed into a truck and rolled, hitting the two pedestrians at the intersection of Vienna and Finucane roads.

Local Mark Lovorec said he witnessed the white Land Cruiser "slam" into the couple.

"I saw a white 4WD (coming) down and two pedestrians were walking in their dog … and he's just slammed straight into them," Mr Lovorec said.

Mr Lovorec said a man and woman were then flung several metres.

"Then the car hit another car, and there was a big accident," he said

"They were dead and I was in shock."

Mr Lovorec said the Redlands community was angry over the incident.

"I'm angry, like they're local residents, it was a pregnant woman and her partner, and it was horrific and it shouldn't have happened," he said.

"Everyone is very angry about it."

The scene where two pedestrians were killed by a stolen vehicle allegedly driven by a 17-year-old. Picture: Steve Pohlner
The scene where two pedestrians were killed by a stolen vehicle allegedly driven by a 17-year-old. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Finucane Rd resident Wendy Chaney said the crash "sounded like metal on metal".

"I thought the back shed had collapsed," she said.

"The traffic light was gone, it was totally knocked out, it was that loud."

Ms Chaney said a large group of bystanders from cars and surrounding homes ran towards the scene to assist.

"I could see the guy on the road and he hadn't moved in the time the ambos got there," she said.

Police allege the teen ran from the scene and about 5.30pm stole a set of keys from a Kingston Ave home before attempting to start a car in the garage.

He fled on foot when approached by one of the residents of the home and was followed to Chelsea Crescent where he was arrested by police.

He was taken to hospital for minor injuries.

Minutes earlier the same car, which police say was stolen from a Cleveland house between 4-5pm Tuesday, was involved in a road rage incident.

The four-wheel-driver gestures at traffic lights before the first collision. Picture: Chris Fleming
The four-wheel-driver gestures at traffic lights before the first collision. Picture: Chris Fleming

LNP MP and former police officer Dan Purdie said both the community and police were outraged by Queensland's "catch and release" practises around juvenile offenders.

"As a former CPIU (Child Protection) detective, I can understand why the community and our police are outraged," he said.

"This is not the first time that innocent lives have been lost.

Flowers left the scene where a Alexandra Hills couple was hit and killed by an allegedly stolen vehicle. Picture: Danielle O'Neal
Flowers left the scene where a Alexandra Hills couple was hit and killed by an allegedly stolen vehicle. Picture: Danielle O'Neal

"Police for a long time now have been warning the Palaszczuk Government that their watering down of the Youth Justice Act and their catch and release laws in relation to juvenile offenders would lead to tragedy and unfortunately that what's happened again.

"Police are legitimately outraged."

Police last night charged a 17-year-old Waterford West male with two counts of murder, one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle (adversely affected by an intoxicating substance), two counts of burglary and one count each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and attempted unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

This morning, flowers have been left at the scene of the horrific crash.

Forensic crash investigators remained at the crash scene overnight. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Forensic crash investigators remained at the crash scene overnight. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Laying flowers at the scene, Bowman MP Dr Andrew Laming said the Redland community was in shock.

"I just want to remind everyone that this is an illicit drug issue and not a driver safety issue," he said.

"There aren't easy answers to this problem and there are a lot of professionals who devote their careers to work out when people are and are not released.

"Once someone is intoxicated anything is possible, so we need to ask the question about whether paying welfare as cash is a problem, because you're basically giving people equity to easily get drugs.

"We need to ask about whether someone, once they are behaving like an adult, operating a vehicle should be in an adult court."

Dr Laming said the crash was a "one-in-a-million" incident.

"I know bystanders did everything they could, as a medical person there is very little you can do with this type of an accident," he said.

Shocking footage has emerged online showing the same car crashing into another vehicle at the same intersection only 20 minutes before the pedestrians were killed.

The footage shows a male in the Toyota gesturing at the driver of a silver Hyundai hatchback as the cars are parked side-by-side waiting at a red light at Alexandra Hills about 5.10pm.

When the light turns green, the 4WD can be seen crashing into the side of the silver car before speeding away.

Shortly after, around 5.30pm, the allegedly stolen 4WD was involved in a second collision at the same intersection, killing two pedestrians on Finucane Rd as they walked their dog.

Police allege the stolen 4WD was driving dangerously through the intersection and smashed into a tow truck.

The smash caused the LandCruiser to roll, hitting the two pedestrians as it rolled and killing them both despite attempts by emergency crews to revive them.

It is understood the dog being walked by the couple killed in the smash had not been found last night.

Chris Fleming, who posted video of the first collision online, told The Courier-Mail his wife Angela began filming the car after they heard a loud screech as the 4WD pulled up behind and overtook them.

The couple then pulled up behind the allegedly stolen car at the traffic lights where they filmed the driver making rude gestures to the man and child in the car next to him before the first crash.

"Look, I just saw a hit and run with a guy, we've got it all on the video," Mrs Fleming can be heard telling a triple-0 operator.

The pair pull over to assist the driver of the Hyundai, asking if he is okay.

"Are you guys hurt?," Mrs Fleming asks.

"No but we've got our disabled son in the back of the car," the driver of the hatchback responds.

The tragedy comes after grandmother Rhonda Lofting was killed at the same intersection in August 2014.

Emergency services at the scene of a serious crash at Alexandra Hills. Picture: Facebook
Emergency services at the scene of a serious crash at Alexandra Hills. Picture: Facebook

The 65-year-old's car was struck by a stolen vehicle driven by a 40-year-old man while she was stopped at a red light on the same corner where the two people were killed last night. The driver was charged with manslaughter over her death and sentenced to 11 years' jail.

The Australia Day tragedy comes after a shocking road toll in 2020.

Fifty six more people lost their lives in 2020 than in 2019, with a total of 275 people killed on Queensland roads.

RACQ spokeswoman Clare Hunter late last year said the toll was "baffling", and despite all the efforts of police and warnings to buckle up, slow down and rest when tired, the death toll just kept climbing.

"It's baffling and extremely disappointing that so many people have been killed on our roads," she said at the time.

Roads Minister Mark Bailey last month said there were more than 3500 hospital admissions last year for crashes.

A photo purporting to show the missing dog owned by the dead couple has been circulating on social media.
A photo purporting to show the missing dog owned by the dead couple has been circulating on social media.

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