Heartbroken dad visits crash scene of 'bright, happy' kids
The father of two Queensland boys killed by an out-of-control car at Wellington in NSW's Central West says his heart has been "ripped out" and has sat at the spot on the small town street where his sons' lives were taken to play their favourite songs.
The man allegedly behind the wheel of the car that careened into the "bright, happy little kids" and their mother is now awaiting court from a police cell.
Police allege 25-year-old Jacob Donn was driving the Holden Commodore that mounted the kerb and hit four young boys - aged six, seven, nine and 10 - on Tuesday afternoon.
Brothers Shane, 7, and Sheldon, 6, Shorey were killed when the car ploughed through the group.
The mother of the slain boys, Shayleen Frail, was also struck by the car as the group walked along the grass near the aquatic centre in the state's Central West..
Donn allegedly fled the carnage as screaming onlookers rushed to help.
"My heart's been ripped out of me," Shane and Sheldon's father Joseph Shorey told The Daily Telegraph.
"I've got nothing, I feel hollow."
The brothers lived with their father in Emerald, Queensland but were visiting their mother and grandparents in Wellington and had just been to the town pool for a swim.
Wellington resident John Piling was walking his dogs down the street when he crossed paths with the group.
"They were quite happy, they'd been swimming all day. They were very bright, happy little kids," he said.
Mr Pilling claims he was with the family as a red car drove past before it came back up the road and hit them.
Mr Pilling said neighbours rushed out to try and help the stricken family.
"They all came out screaming, because they knew something bad had happened," he said.
"Two kids were pinned under the car, a lady was pinned against the fence."
Mr Shorey arrived in the Central West on Wednesday after the devastating news reached him in Queensland.
He said his boys just had "the best Christmas ever" with trampolines, scooters and Lego from Santa.
"I love my kids to the world, I'd do anything for them and give them the best life I can," Mr Shorey said.
They left Queensland five days later for their holiday down south.
"I gave them a cuddle and they said 'yep dad see you on the 17th' because that's when I was picking them up," Mr Shorey said.
Instead Mr Shorey visited a survivor of the crash in hospital before leaving to see his lost sons in the morgue.
Shane would have turned eight on Friday.
The shattered father arrived at the scene of destruction where Donn allegedly smashed into his boys on Wednesday afternoon.
He sat on the street where the car hit his boys flanked by friends and family and met with paramedics.
Through a speaker he played his son's favourite songs.
Mr Shorley broke down and was embraced by supporters as Charlie Puth's voice sang "I'm only one call away, I'll be there to save the day" on the quiet country street.
Ms Frail remained in hospital. Her injuries are unknown but she was, on Wednesday, in a coma unaware the boys she called "mum's protectors" will never come home.
The 10-year-old boy remains in hospital having had surgery for serious leg injuries.
The nine-year-old was released with only minor injuries.
Donn was arrested some four hours after the crash after trying to flee police on foot, NSW Police said.
It's alleged he was found with prescription drugs.
Donn was charged with a laundry list of charges including dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, never licensed driver on the road, fail to stop after causing injury, fail to assist after causing death in a vehicle and drug possession.
He remains in the custody of Dubbo police ahead of his court appearance on Thursday morning.
A GoFundMe has collected more than $3000 to cover the funeral costs for the boys' funerals.
" (Mr Shorey) sent his babies home for contact with their mummy and mob and the most tragic accident happened please assist (him) to bury his babies with dignity and pride," the organiser wrote.
"I cannot fathom the pain he and all the mob are going through right now."
A second fundraiser is being held for the boy left with leg injuries and a third for the mother.
"This accident has changed these peoples' lives forever especially for Shayleen whose two beautiful boys lost their lives," one organiser wrote.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER CRASH
A man has been arrested after two children were killed, two more and an adult injured during an alleged hit-and-run car crash in Wellington on Tuesday afternoon.
The 26-year-old was allegedly behind the wheel of a red Holden sedan which hit a group of four children under 12 and a woman in her 40s on Warne St, Wellington about 4.30pm on Tuesday.
Thirteen ambulance crews and four specialist response teams worked to save two of the children who were critically injured but both died at the scene.
The woman and another two children were raced to multiple hospitals including Westmead, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Orange Hospital, with one child in a serious condition.
Orana Mid-Western Police District Acting Commander Natalie Antaw said the driver allegedly fled the scene before police arrived but officers had managed to locate him in the hours after the incident.
She said the 26-year-old allegedly attempted to run from police once again before being arrested and taken to Dubbo Police Station.
"Obviously extensive inquiries were made … by local detectives and local police in locating that gentleman, he was arrested after a short foot pursuit in Wellington," Comm Antaw said.
"He is currently assisting police with their inquiries … the investigation is still in its infancy." No charges have been laid.
Comm Antaw said all the children hit were understood to be under 12 years old but could not yet confirm how all five people involved were directly related.
She said the group had visited the Wellington Pool on the same street just prior to the tragedy, and asked any witnesses with CCTV footage to come forward.
"It's tragic circumstances for the entire community and our thoughts are completely with the family and friends of the little ones involved, and also the rest of the community of Wellington," Comm Antaw said.
"Every avenue of investigation will be undertaken … anyone with dashcam footage or information should contact police."
Warne St resident and retired police officer Herb Smith heard "terrible screams" coming from the road outside his property before he raced outside to find "chaos".
"I came out the front after hearing screams and found the car had mounted the footpath … people were milling everywhere, lots screaming, shouting and hysterical crying going on," Mr Smith said.
"I didn't know the kids involved … but scenes like this one, which I used to attend as an investigating officer, are particularly upsetting."
Police are investigating whether the driver of the car may have been speeding before ploughing into the group of five and a fence on the western end of Warne St.
The driver then left the vehicle and the scene before police arrived and has not yet been found.
The red Holden with P-plates attached remained wedged in the gate on Tuesday evening and has been taped off by police for further examination.
NSW Ambulance Zone Manager Superintendent Andrew DeGabriel said the scene was "heartbreaking".
"These types of incidents are shocking for all emergency services and witnesses involved … We were confronted with an absolutely devastating scene in Wellington," Supt Andrew DeGabriel said.
"It's heartbreaking for this to happen to such a small community."
The five pedestrians hit in the crash are said to be a local Wellington family.
Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Ben Shields said council workers at the pool were on the scene after the crash and said the loss of the two children would "tear" the small town apart.
He said the council would not hesitate to help police by supplying CCTV footage from the venue and other public locations.
"The tragedy of Wellington is that it's extremely family-oriented," Mr Shields said.
"This is going to really knock the town around, it'll really upset everyone for some time."
Crash Investigation Unit officers will examine the scene and local police are investigating further into what caused the tragic crash.
It follows another violent incident over the weekend in Wellington, where 24 year-old Brad Stanely was stabbed to death at an alleged brawl on a William St property.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said the two incidents were "so unexpected" in the quiet Wellington township.
"It's the least you'd expect in Wellington. Nothing like this ever happens here," he said.
Originally published as Heartbreak over Qld boys killed in horror smash