A 13-year-old boy has been charged after a teenage girl and two women were killed in a horror crash north of Brisbane.
Nurse Sheree Robertson, 52, from Torquay in Hervey Bay, was driving home from work when she was killed alongside Kelsie Davies, 17, and Michale Chandler, 29.
Police say the boy was behind the wheel of a stolen Mercedes Benz that slammed into the back of a Holden carrying Davies and Chandler, forcing it onto the wrong side of the road and colliding with a Mazda being driven by Robertson.
Another woman, Kaylah Behrens, 23, was airlifted in a critical condition to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Chandler’s husband, Matthew Chandler, posted a tribute on social media, calling her the “world’s greatest wife and mum”.
Staff at Maryborough Hospital where Robertson worked said they were devastated to hear of her death.
One colleague said she was “just a light on the ward”, adding she was “loud and boisterous and such a fun loving character”.
The teenager is accused of stealing the Mercedes from Dalhousie Street at 8.30pm before going on a joyride in the lead up to the accident.
Neighbour Norton Judd said he saw what happened.
“I came outside and the car was reversing around, nearly hit our fence then took off,” Judd said.
The teenager, from Bundaberg, sustained minor injuries to his foot.
He was taken to hospital but released into police custody afterwards.
He has been charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Police were on the hunt for a second person, believed to be a youth, who was a passenger in the Mercedes.
They said the impact of the collision had been felt across the small regional community, with first responders who rushed to the accident knowing the victims.
“It’s very concerning to have any crash like this, but for one to be so severe, there will no doubt be ripple effects right across the community of Wide Bay and right around the Maryborough community,” Assistant Commissioner Brian Connors said.
“One of the deceased is a local Queensland health employee who was a nurse who worked at the hospital and finished a shift last evening.
“A number of people who have attended the scene have reported to us just how severe the feelings were as a direct result of those persons who were involved who are known to community members, and also known to first responders.”
Connors said police were aware the car had been stolen but had no involvement with the vehicle or driver before the crash.
“We are currently investigating the circumstances of the vehicle being taken and how it’s being used in between the time it’s been taken and the time of the crash,” he said.
Connors said the boy was known to police but was not on police bail or under a community order at the time of the crash.
He is due before Maroochydore Children’s Court tomorrow,
Anyone with dashcam footage of the vehicle between 8pm on Sunday and the crash is urged to contact police.