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Qld: Teens in boot of car in fatal crash

By Angela Harper and Natalie Gregg
03 May 2009 5:06 PM
Eds: Updates number of critically injured in Toowoomba accident

BRISBANE, May 3 AAP - Two boys were travelling in the boot of an overloaded sedan when it ploughed into an oncoming car, killing two teenagers and critically injuring three others.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said speed and alcohol were factors in the horror smash on the New England Highway, north of Toowoomba, at 10pm (AEST) on Saturday.

Mr Atkinson said seven teenage males were in the car, and one of the deceased was travelling in the boot.

"At this stage we can only speculate as to why two people were in the boot," he said.

The boys were travelling home to Toowoomba from a function at Highfields.

Mr Atkinson said one of the police officers at the scene was also the football coach of one of the boys.

"He took it upon himself to notify the family and he was quite devastated," he said.

"For the family particularly it is just unimaginable and unthinkable that something like this happens - that their children go off to a function and that they just don't come home and alternatively, they are in hospital and they are critical and they may die."

The crash was one of two fatal accidents on southeast Queensland roads this weekend.

On the Gold Coast, a woman died at the scene and six people were injured when two sedans and a four-wheel drive crashed just off the Pacific Motorway, Burleigh, at 7am on Sunday.

Mr Atkinson said in both accidents the cars had been travelling on four-lane dual carriage ways and had crossed the median strip and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

"As at today 124 people have been killed on Queensland roads - that's more than one a day - and if that continues we will have the worst road toll in more than a decade," he said.

"This only continues to reinforce every single one of our road fatalities this year could have been avoided if people had paid attention to those four basic principles of not speeding, not drink-driving, wearing seatbelts and not driving while fatigued."

In the Toowoomba crash the boys' car caught fire, trapping some of the occupants, while the sole occupant of the second vehicle, a 58-year-old man from Kingaroy, was seriously injured. However his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

A 16-year-old boy died at the scene and a 17-year-old died while undergoing surgery at Toowoomba General Hospital.

One boy, 16, was flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital; another, aged 17, was flown to Gold Coast Hospital; and a third, aged 16, was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital - all have life-threatening injuries.

A 17-year-old with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries remains in Toowoomba General Hospital, while another 17-year-old who escaped with minor injuries has been released from hospital.

In the Gold Coast accident, the force of the crash was so great the 4WD rolled three times, one of the sedans burst into flames and the other sedan lost its roof.

The injured have been taken to the Gold Coast and Robina hospitals and are believed to be in serious but stable conditions.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said so far it had been a "terrible weekend of tragedy".

"These tragedies impact not just these individuals that are involved and their families but emergency service workers and police."