Cops probe unexplained factors in horror crash

POLICE are investigating a myriad of unexplained factors in a horror crash north of Brisbane that claimed the lives of a mother and her four children.

The Courier-Mail has been told preliminary investigations indicate an absence of skid marks by the car driven by Charmaine Harris McLeod before it crashed head-on at high speed with a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, south of Kingaroy, on Monday just after 7pm.

Specialist detectives and other expert police have been tasked to join the investigation and Ms McLeod's ex-partner has also questioned why she was driving three hours away from her Hervey Bay home when there were no relatives in the area or nearby.

It's also understood police found evidence at the crash site which has prompted further leads from the senior investigators.

Charmaine McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kumbia.
Charmaine McLeod and her four children were killed in a car crash near Kumbia.

Police say they are keeping open-minded in the investigation and will be thorough.

Asked whether homicide detectives were involved in the investigation, Road Policing Command Superintendent Dave Johnson today said: "I understand that there's a range of investigators involved in that matter and we will look at all courses of action and all … avenues as to causal factors."

At this stage, the deaths have not been added to the national road toll.

"So we look at every road crash that occurs where a death has occurred on our roads and there are guidelines and directions on a national level as to what is defined as a fatality," Supt Johnson said.

"I won't talk specifically on that particular matter other than to say there's a further investigation involving the positioning of the vehicle and why it was on the road at the time and where it was and what circumstances, if any, are known to police in relation to that matter.

The crash scene was described as ‘horrific’. Picture: ABC News
The crash scene was described as ‘horrific’. Picture: ABC News

"There's a thorough investigation and there will be a report prepared for our coroner and then we'll present all the facts on that where the coroner will make a determination about the cause of death and what has occurred.

"But police are doing a very thorough investigation, they are putting a lot of resources towards that.

"As everybody in this room knows, it was a tragic circumstance for all those involved at the scene and all those emergency services responders that attended the scene as well.

"It was absolutely horrific carnage that they came across and innocent loss of lives."

When asked if police knew why Ms McLeod was on the road at that time of night, Supt Johnson said "no".

There were no skid marks at the scene where (L-R) Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in a horror crash.
There were no skid marks at the scene where (L-R) Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in a horror crash.

He said police were looking at "all angles" of the investigation as to what has caused the crash.

Supt Johnson would not be drawn on whether police believed the crash was intentional, saying: "There is no indication at this stage, other than a thorough investigation needs to be completed to understand what's occurred."

Asked whether the condition of the road would have prevented Ms McLeod from seeing an oncoming truck, Supt Johnson said "I have no information to tell me that."

"But certainly, our forensic crash investigators that are very experienced and very competent, have done a detailed investigation … both the preliminary officers have attended the scene and we've sent additional officers up there for a thorough mapping of the complete scene there to understand visibility et cetera," he said.



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