Rob Wells, local road safety campaigner, surrounded by the media outside the courthouse yesterday.
Rob Wells, local road safety campaigner, surrounded by the media outside the courthouse yesterday.



THE families of four teenagers who died in a car crash on Broken Head Road in October last year gathered in Lismore Children's Court yesterday and heard that a blown tyre could have been the cause of the accident.

A summary hearing in the court heard that the driver, now 18 years old, of a white Commodore sedan told witnesses at the scene that a tyre had blown and he could not steer the car.

The 18-year-old is charged with four counts of dangerous driving occasioning death.

In court witnesses said that moments before the accident the white Commodore overtook another car at double unbroken lines near the junction of Broken Head Reserve Road.

The court heard that the other car, a red Commodore, had led the way down Broken Head Road. It was raining lightly.

Witnesses, who were all passengers in the red Commodore, told the court their%vehicle had slowed to around 95km/h at the junction of%Broken Head Beach Road.

One witness said he looked out the back window and saw the white Commodore come flying up behind them overtaking on double unbroken lines.

"He was on the other side of the road on a bend. He was coming fast," the witness said.

"He would have been doing 140km/h."

The witnesses told the court they lost sight of the white Commodore after it overtook them, but rounding another bend they saw a broken tree branch and broken glass littering the roadway.

"I saw the tail lights (of the white Commodore) in the ditch and I told (the driver of the red Commodore) to stop," said the witness.

Another witness said they all ran down to the wrecked car to find the teenager in the passenger seat still alive.

"He was all right for a minute," he said. "I checked the other boys, but they were gone."

The Northern Star has%received advice from the%Department of Public Prosecutions, and from an independent legal advisor, that we are unable to name the accused, the victims or the witnesses because the hearing is in the Children's Court.

The hearing will resume today.

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