17 April 2024

'Catastrophic': Critically injured teenager from crashed stolen car was on bail

| Ian Bushnell
car on its roof

Police examine the accident scene this morning on Adelaide Avenue. Photo: ACT Policing.

A 15-year-old boy critically injured in the crash of a stolen car this morning on Adelaide Avenue near State Circle was in breach of bail conditions.

This is the second serious incident this year involving a teenager and a stolen car.

In January, a 14-year-old boy was charged with culpable driving causing death and driving a stolen motor vehicle following a crash on the Barton Highway in which a 19-year-old man was killed.

But it is still unclear whether the injured boy from this morning’s incident was the driver of the white Toyota Camry sedan involved.

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Officer in Charge of ACT Road Policing, Acting Inspector Mark Richardson said police were called to the scene shortly before 5 am to find the Camry had hit the concrete road barrier and flipped on to its roof, leaving it “catastrophically damaged”.

The boy was found “badly injured and unresponsive” about five to 10 metres from the vehicle on the road, but it was not clear how he got there or whether there were any other people or vehicles involved.

“There is potential that the person was a driver and was unrestrained, was a passenger and was unrestrained, or managed to get himself out of the vehicle,” Acting Inspector Mark Richardson said.

He said the boy had been identified and police had spoken to his family.

“Subsequent inquiries from ACT police reveal the young male was on bail, subject to current bail conditions, was in fact in breach of those bail conditions, and those bail conditions related to similar offending,” Acting Inspector Mark Richardson said.

He said the Camry had been reported stolen on or around 14 April and had since been involved in several attempts by police to stop it.

However, on at least one occasion, police did not pursue the vehicle due to its speed in a suburban area.

Acting Inspector Richardson did not know if the injured boy was involved in any of the Camry’s encounters with police.

He said that given the state of the vehicle, speed was certainly a factor in this morning’s crash, as was inexperience.

“I mean, this is an unlicensed driver … if that person is found to be the driver,” he said.

police officer in police garage

Acting Inspector Mark Richardson: the age of these people is really quite concerning. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

He said the Major Collision Team would check emergency departments for any other potentially injured people from this accident and CCTV footage from nearby cameras.

“We’ll utilise all of our intelligence to determine what may or may not have happened this morning,” he said.

Acting Inspector Mark Richardson said the age of this particular boy and the Barton Highway driver was concerning.

“It’s not exclusively young people that are involved, but quite clearly, on these two occasions that we’re talking about, it was young people involved, and the age of these people is really quite concerning,” he said.

“I mean, these are 14 and 15-year-old children that are doing these activities, and really, the outcomes from some of these incidents are quite tragic.”

Acting Inspector Richardson said it was frustrating for police, especially when young people were involved, but they would continue to get the message out and try to put things in place to stop this sort of thing from happening.

“We see people breaking the speed limit by 30 to 40 kilometres an hour on an almost daily basis,” he said.

“It’s one of those things where you just think, what more can we do? Do we put 1000 more police on the road to try and stop it?”

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The incident closed the road for much of the day, with traffic banked up along Adelaide Avenue heading into the city during the morning peak.

Police are also investigating a car fire this morning at the intersection of Corinna Street and Melrose Drive, Lyons, which disrupted southbound traffic on Melrose Drive.

Two people have died so far on the ACT roads so far this year. In 2023, four people died in road incidents.

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