Elders take fire at MPs after killer crash

 

A respected Indigenous mentor is broken knowing he never got the chance to help four children killed in a crash that has rocked the community, saying Townsville's MPs should "hang their head in shame".

Wayne Parker Snr said the State Government's promises were "too little, too late" after the horrific death of a group of teenagers who were passengers in an alleged stolen car crash.

The victims, Lucius Baira-Hill, 13, Cayenne Nona, 14, Rayveena Coolwell, 15, and Aaliyah Tepaa-Brown, 17, were all killed when the car they were travelling in smashed into a traffic light pole at Bayswater Rd on Sunday morning.

Flowers, handwritten notes and balloons were laid at the crash site yesterday where mourners flocked to pay their respects throughout the day.

Pieces of shattered glass, tyre tracks and stains of blood were still evident at the scene as peak hour traffic darted by.

Floral tributes have been left at a Garbutt intersection in Townsville where four teenagers aged lost their lives. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Floral tributes have been left at a Garbutt intersection in Townsville where four teenagers aged lost their lives. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Motorists took glances at the memorial while they were stopped at the same roundabout the car clipped before rolling and smashing into a nearby traffic light pole.

A closer look at the horrific scene yesterday showed the intensity of the crash, with the base of the traffic light pole cracked and partly lifted from its concrete base.

Police paint mapped out the final moments before the car hit the pole where scratches were carved out of the metal.

Tow truck workers load the wreckage of a car onto a truck after a fatal crash on Sunday. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Tow truck workers load the wreckage of a car onto a truck after a fatal crash on Sunday. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Multiple family and friends paid tribute to the children, with some reportedly of Palm Island heritage.

A handwritten message to Lucius, the youngest of the victims, described him as always being there for his friends.

"You are in God's hands now," it read.

The car involved in a fatal crash clipped a roundabout, rolled and hit a traffic light pole before landing on its roof. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR
The car involved in a fatal crash clipped a roundabout, rolled and hit a traffic light pole before landing on its roof. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR

 

Floral tributes at a Garbutt intersection in Townsville where four teenagers lost their lives after the allegedly stolen car they were travelling in crashed early Sunday morning. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Floral tributes at a Garbutt intersection in Townsville where four teenagers lost their lives after the allegedly stolen car they were travelling in crashed early Sunday morning. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

 

Parents of the eldest victim, Aaliyah, have set up a fundraiser for her funeral which has surpassed $4000.

Palm Island mayor Mislam Sam left politics aside as he told of his grief for all those involved.

"The time for us to tackle this problem as a community is later," he said.

He urged people to be respectful of the victims and families of the tragedy, saying "ignorance will always be the enemy of humanity."

Indigenous elder Uncle Rusty Butler had a different opinion, saying the community and government need to take action against youth crime now.

"I feel empty … because you know they should never have died," he said.

"We had the chance to save these kids … we need to deal with this because it's not going to get better from here."

Mr Butler and Mr Parker are well-known for their work in the YINDA Program which took displaced children out to country for multiple weeks and taught them cultural values.

The group also drove around the city at night picking up wandering children and kept them safe.

Mr Butler said these deaths could have been prevented if the program was still running at its potential since funding stopped in October.

The State Government recently closed tenders to a new on-country program that is set to be up and running by next month.

Originally published as Elders take fire at MPs after killer crash



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