WATCH: Police 'grill' 11-year-old Blake Rice after floods

UPDATE: A viral video has sparked concern over the police investigation into the deaths of Donna and Jordan Rice in Toowoomba's 2011 floods.

The Weekend Australian yesterday revealed a recording of the police interview with Toowoomba boy Blake Rice, after his mother Donna and brother Jordan were washed away in the 2011 floods.

The recording was uploaded to YouTube by Pilipinas Daily and was titled "Police grill boy, 11, who lost his family in floodwaters".

The video is described on YouTube as: "After he watched his mum and brother DROWN when their 000 call was dismissed as 'low priority'."

According to Weekend Australian, it was Detective Senior Constable Andrew Lowe's report of that interview that formed the basis for police findings that Donna Rice had recklessly driven into the flooded intersection.

The video has since gone viral. Residents were quick to share their heartache for the tragedy that still rocks Toowoomba. 

Vicki Doyle said: "Now finally people will be able to see that my sister Donna didn't drive into flooded waters."

Sharene Blades said: "Unless you were out in that downpour, you would never have believed the amount of water around."

"People sitting in their houses in the outer suburbs had no idea what was going on in the city centre and the 'flood prone' parts of Toowoomba. I imagine the police call centre would have been the same."

Kira Newbold said: "My sister's partner at the time saw that whole tragedy as he was trying to cross the road to get home."

"He told us that she did not drive into the water, the water hit her. All our hearts broke for your family."

Sheryl Doig said: "Believe me Vicki, when I say that many people DO NOT blame Donna for what happened."

Christine Justice said: "Terrible tragedy for your family. It could have been any of the drivers and their families on the Toowoomba roads that day - the water came up so quickly."

Flood survivor Blake Rice has been targeted by bullies since losing his brother Jordan and mother Donna in the flash flood that hit Toowoomba in January.
Flood survivor Blake Rice has been targeted by bullies since losing his brother Jordan and mother Donna in the flash flood that hit Toowoomba in January.

EARLIER: Concerns have been raised after footage emerged of police interviewing Toowoomba boy Blake Rice after his mother Donna and brother Jordan were washed away in Toowoomba's 2011 floods.

The Weekend Australian obtained a recording of the police interview with Blake, which was done just weeks after the tragedy.

According to Weekend Australian, it was Detective Senior Constable Andrew Lowe's report of that interview that formed the basis for police findings that Donna Rice had recklessly driven into the flooded intersection.

A coroner found Ms Rice had not been reckless and had in fact stopped the car before the intersection "in what was then very shallow water and had waited to see whether it was safe to proceed".

In excerpts of the interview, Const. Lowe asked Blake what had happened when the family got to that street which was more than 2km from the intersection of James and Kitchener Sts from where his mother and brother were washed away.

"The water was, like, oh, not that deep but Mum was gonna turn back and Jordan said, 'keep going' so she kept going," Blake said.

Constable Lowe referred to the water around the street as "really deep", contradicting Blake's description.

"OK so you said you were driving along the big street there and then the water started to get really deep and Jordan told your mum, keep driving," Constable Lowe said.

Blake said: "He just said keep driving, it's not that deep."

"Mum said it's getting pretty deep and Jordan said stop being a pussy, and mum just kept on going."

Constable Lowe suggested to Blake that the family then got to James and Kitchener Sts.

Blake told the policeman his mother's car had stalled and, starting to panic, she called triple-0.

The Weekend Australian reported Blake wrote to the Coroner to correct the police record - "saying the family discussion had occurred far earlier than police alleged".

According to the article, Blake's father John Tyson believed that blaming Donna for the deaths allowed police to "divert attention from the triple-0 call-taker," who had listed the incident as a "priority 3" - the lowest priority for help.
 



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