Teens die in fierce car inferno after pursuit
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.