Vandals torch memorial to teens killed in hit-and-run

SENSELESS ACT: Vandals firebombed the memorial to three teenagers killed at Goodna.
SENSELESS ACT: Vandals firebombed the memorial to three teenagers killed at Goodna. Contributed

IT HAS been two years since three teenagers were killed in an horrific hit-and-run crash in Goodna.

But families of the victims have said the painful memories are being brought up all over again after a memorial to remember the three youths was vandalised.

The sandstone and brass monument, located 50 metres from the site of the crash, was purposely set on fire.

The memorial was installed to remember Nicholas Saxby, 16, Brittany Bramwell, 17, and Matthew Prior, 18, who were killed in the two-vehicle collision at the corner of Brisbane Rd and Layard St, Goodna on April 8, 2011.

Nicholas's mother, Raquel Flak yesterday said she was devastated about the vandalised memorial.

"A lot of tears have been shed over this incident," she said. "I don't understand why someone would do something to deliberately hurt the family and friends of the victims, who have already gone through so much pain."

Ms Flak said the vandalism came as another blow following recent news that the driver who ploughed his ute into the car of teens had applied to appeal a court decision that saw his jail term extended to 10 years.

Michael Daniel Henderson, 35, who ran two red lights during a car chase before the crash, was originally sentenced to seven and a half years' jail but the Attorney-General appealed the sentence, arguing it was inadequate.

Ms Flak said the memorial, which was installed a year ago, had become a sacred place for family and friends of the victims to sit and remember the good times they had shared.

"I hope they find out whoever did this and really hit them with the full force of the law this time," she said.

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully said the damage was the most appalling vandalism he had seen.

"To single out and destroy something that is so meaningful to families and friends is just disgraceful," Cr Tully said.

He said council workers would meet with police to assess the damage then their priority would be to restore the memorial.

Due to the intensity of the flames, Cr Tully said the sandstone plinth may have cracked and would need to be replaced.

He said the closest street camera was about 150m away on Mill St, which unfortunately was too far away to identify the offenders.

A reward of up to $5000 has been offered for information that leads to the conviction of the vandals.

Anyone with further information about the incident should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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