Teens die in fierce car in­ferno af­ter pur­suit

The Dominion Post - - News - Sam Sher­wood sam.sher­[email protected]

The mother of two young boys killed along­side their friend af­ter the flee­ing car they were in ex­ploded says she’s in ‘‘se­vere shock’’.

Stuff un­der­stands the boys are 16-year-old Glen Mcal­lis­ter, who was be­lieved to be driv­ing the car, and 13-year-olds Craig Mcal­lis­ter and Brook­lyn Tay­lor.

Broth­ers Glen and Craig and their friend, Brook­lyn, died af­ter the stolen car they were in hit po­lice spikes at speed, crashed and ex­ploded in a ‘‘huge ball of fire’’ on Christchurch’s Blen­heim Rd on Sun­day night.

Two of­fi­cers who laid the spikes tried to save the boys, suf­fer­ing smoke in­hala­tion in the process, but it was too late.

Glen and Craig’s mother, Juanita Rose, said she was in ‘‘se­vere shock’’ af­ter los­ing her two sons, whom she called her ‘‘ba­bies, my life’’.

Their sis­ter posted a trib­ute to her ‘‘hand­some broth­ers’’ on Face­book. ‘‘Los­ing one of you is hard enough but both of you go­ing has de­stroyed me. Thir­teen and 16 is way too young to be gone.

‘‘Can’t be­lieve I’ll never get to see you grow into the men you were sup­posed to be. I love you both end­lessly,’’ she wrote.

Tay­lor’s older sis­ter, TeAri Tay­lor, said her younger brother’s life be­gan to un­ravel when their father died nine years ago.

‘‘He was a bro­ken child. They were at­tached at the hip. Dad was his best mate.’’

Brook­lyn was in the care of Oranga Ta­mariki at the time of his death.

TeAri Tay­lor spoke with him in April last year, af­ter the death of their grand­mother, about mov­ing to Welling­ton to live with her.

‘‘At the time he wasn’t go­ing through a very good sit­u­a­tion, wrong peo­ple, wrong crowd – just ba­si­cally couldn’t get out of the sit­u­a­tion that he was in.

‘‘I told his case­worker something’s got to change be­cause if you don’t send him to me we’re go­ing to be bury­ing my brother. He needs to get out of Christchurch and have a whole new be­gin­ning.’’

A fam­ily group con­fer­ence was held in Septem­ber to de­ter­mine what was best for him, with the de­ci­sion made for him to stay in Christchurch with other sib­lings.

Tay­lor said she felt sick when she got a call yes­ter­day to say her brother had died. ‘‘Ev­ery­body makes mis­takes but that’s your life. They were only 13 and 16 – it’s ab­so­lutely dis­gust­ing. They had so much to live for.

‘‘As much as I’m bro­ken that we have to bury my baby brother, it wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion or sit­u­a­tion to deal with for the po­lice.’’

It is un­der­stood the three boys had reg­u­larly stolen cars across the city in re­cent months.

The Mazda Fa­milia in­volved in the crash was first seen speed­ing in cen­tral Christchurch at 11.13pm on Sun­day, reach­ing speeds in ex­cess of 130kmh and run­ning red lights. It had been stolen ear­lier that night.

Po­lice started chas­ing the car but aban­doned their pur­suit af­ter just over a minute be­cause of the way it was be­ing driven, Su­per­in­ten­dent John Price said.

Mean­while, of­fi­cers laid spikes on Blen­heim Rd to try to stop the car. The ve­hi­cle hit the spikes, lost con­trol and crashed into a tree, rup­tur­ing the fuel tank and ex­plod­ing in flames. The road was wet at the time of the crash, leav­ing no skid marks.

‘‘There has been a ball of fire, we know this from CCTV footage,’’ Price said.

Both of­fi­cers went di­rectly to the car and ‘‘did their very best’’ to get the teens out but were un­able to.

The of­fi­cers, who were at home re­cu­per­at­ing from smoke in­hala­tion, were ‘‘ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated’’ by the deaths, Price said.

A Blen­heim Rd res­i­dent, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity, de­scribed the car fire as an ‘‘in­ferno’’.

The most ‘‘haunt­ing’’ thing was the sound of the car horn, which started al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the crash. ‘‘It didn’t go off. It just kept go­ing.’’

The charred re­mains of the flee­ing car, which ex­ploded af­ter crash­ing in Christchurch, killing the three teenage boys inside. The ve­hi­cle crashed into a tree af­ter hitting road spikes placed by po­lice af­ter a pur­suit was aban­doned.

Craig Mcal­lis­ter

Glen Mcal­lis­ter

Brook­lyn Tay­lor

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