300KM JOY RIDE: More charges expected for teen offenders
Police say more charges could still be laid as the investigation into four teenagers who stole a Bingera Sugar Pty Ltd truck on Sunday afternoon and led police on a 300km-long joy ride to Caboolture continues.
Since the Bruce Highway chase came to an abrupt end early on Sunday night, only one of the four teenagers involved has been charged.
The 15-year-old allegedly drove the stolen truck from Bundaberg to Caboolture despite police's attempts to intercept and stop the vehicle along the way.
The chase took a sudden turn at Old Toorbul Point Rd when police deployed a tyre deflation device and the truck struck a power pole 2km later.
The 15-year-old boy will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act for wilful damage, stealing, enter with intent, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and evade police.
It will be alleged the 15-year-old boy was behind the wheel when a truck, reported stolen from Bundaberg North and later used in a petrol drive-off, followed by the long journey to Caboolture.
Police will allege the 15-year-old driver of the truck fled on foot after the collision, triggering a ground, dog squad and helicopter search.
Thirty minutes later, a 17-year-old boy, 16-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl, who were passengers in the truck during the chase, were taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Bundaberg acting officer in charge Detective Sergeant Trish Applebee said police believed the young offenders were not related to each other but were associates.
However, she said given investigations were still ongoing, further charges could still be laid.
"Police are still investigating as to whether the remaining three, who are currently assisting with inquiries, will be charged," she said.
"They've obviously got into a locked area, they gained entry into the premises, got a set of keys and got into the vehicle ... and along the way they would've had to fuel up again ... so there's potential for additional charges."
Det Sgt Applebee said they "were very lucky there's been no fatalities".
"It's concerning they aren't aware they're behind the wheel of a vehicle that could be considered a weapon on the road ... there's just so many factors. Considering none of them had licences, they're age and inexperience, it's alarming," she said.
"The consequences are quite serious for anyone driving on the road at that time. They would not know the driver of a truck on the Bruce Highway is inexperienced."