Broken-down car found near four bodies was ‘quite apparently unroadworthy’, police say


Posted

November 09, 2018 16:51:09

The broken-down car that was found near the bodies of four people in Central Australia this week had a flat tyre, was out of fuel and “quite apparently unroadworthy”, police say.

Key points:

  • Four people who died this week were Central Australian community members
  • The car they had been driving is now being examined
  • Police say it was a heartbreaking incident for all involved

On Wednesday, the bodies of a 19-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and a three -year-old were discovered near Willowra, about 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.

Following a search, the body of a 12-year-old boy was found about 120 metres from the others yesterday afternoon.

Today, Superintendent Jody Nobbs said the vehicle found about 4.5 kilometres from the bodies had been seized and would be examined.

“The road conditions at the relevant time were favourable. The road was dried yet unsealed,” he said.

“The vehicle was identified to be — again it’s been seized and will be the subject of an examination — but quite apparently an unroadworthy vehicle with a flat tyre and out of fuel.”

Asked why the body of the 12-year-old boy had not been found at the same time as the others, he pointed to the terrain.

“One hundred and twenty metres doesn’t sound like much but in the context of a rugged, remote, vast location it was certainly something we did not locate during our early search,” he said.

Superintendent Nobbs said the four people were last seen in Ti Tree last Friday and had left to meet family in Jarra Jarra.

But he said the family had left by the time they got there and so they decided to drive on to Willowra.

The car was found 18 kilometres from Jarra Jarra, en route to Willowra.

Superintendent Nobbs said the incident should serve as a warning to others travelling through remote Northern Territory.

“When travelling on outback and Northern Territory roads, ensure your vehicle is roadworthy,” he said.

“You have adequate supplies within your vehicle for your trip, including food, water and first aid kits.

“[And] someone is aware of your travel itinerary, your estimated time of departure, time of arrival, and that someone makes a prompt notification to police if you are an overdue party.”

The deceased have been identified as Central Australian community members, although police are not providing further details out of respect for their families.

“It’s not only heartbreaking for that community, it’s heartbreaking for the broader community, equally the emergency service family that responded,” Superintendent Nobbs said.

“My heart and thoughts are with the community over this difficult time.”

Topics:

death,

community-and-society,

indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander,

road-transport,

disasters-and-accidents,

nt



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