There is now video evidence from inside the car that smashed into a tree on Saturday, killing four people (three teens and a lady in her thirties) in south-west Victoria. The camera pans over the driver’s shoulder as the vehicle travels along a winding country road to the accompaniment of music, before zooming in on the vehicle’s speedometer.
A young man’s voice can be heard in the video asking, “What’s the speed bro? How fast are we traveling? The female voice responds, “130,” and the man says, “sweet.” The motorist of a red Toyota Corolla was going too fast on Wannon-Nigretta Falls Road, not far from Bochara, when he or she lost control and crashed. So far, no charges have been filed.
A 17-year-old girl was the only person to survive the incident, and she is currently being treated at Melbourne’s Alfred hospital for critical but stable injuries to her upper body. According to the father of one of the fatalities, 15-year-old Joshua Elmes, the footage was posted to Snapchat the night of the accident. “A friend of Josh’s showed me a video Josh had uploaded on Snapchat that same night of the crash,” Matthew Elmes said on ABC Radio Melbourne on Tuesday morning.
As the driver explained, “He’s in the backseat filming and he asked someone what speed are we doing? And they said, “130,” and Josh said, “Sweet,” and I thought, “Man, if he had only said, ‘That’s a bit too fast, guys; can we slow down?'” Maybe things wouldn’t have gone this way if he had spoken out and stated that. And I simply want to encourage young people to have the bravery to speak up and say something if they’re in a car where harmful actions are happening, since it might prevent anything like this from happening again, as Elmes urged.
Elmes reflected on her son’s life, recalling a “larrikin” and “great mate” who cherished his family, friends, and cadet cohort. Elmes and his wife, Lee Ann Elmes, said they have no idea who was behind the wheel at this point. According to Lee Ann Elmes, the family will not hold the person who was driving responsible.
The nine lives lost in the Bochara disaster are part of what has been called a terrible week on Victorian roadways. So far this year, 131 people have lost their lives on the road, which is 33 more than this time in 2022.
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