Crash inquest final day

A LETTER written by the widow of the driver whose truck was involved in the fatal highway accident which killed four local young people four years ago has been read out at an inquest into the tragedy.

As the final day of the inquest into the deaths of Nick Nolan, Max Thorley, Brett McKenzie and Abby Ezzy in 2008 came to a close in Brisbane yesterday, Coroner Tina Previtera listened as the contents of the emotional letter were presented to the inquest.

The driver, Greg Welsh, died at an undisclosed point in time after the fatal collision in unclear circumstances, but the inquest yesterday heard his wife discovered his body.

Lawyer Bill McMillan told Ms Previtera he received the letter this week.

Legal representatives at the inquest gave Ms Previtera summaries of their submissions collated, with no new witnesses heard yesterday.

The four friends died on the night of January 5, 2008, when the Honda sedan in which they were travelling on the Cunningham Hwy was struck by a truck near the Willowvale Rd turnoff.

There was much discussion yesterday about the way the investigation into the crash was conducted by police.

Steve Courtney, representing the McKenzie family, said the matter needed to be re-examined by the Queensland Police Service.

He was critical about what he claimed was a lack of note-taking by senior police at the accident scene.

"Three key statements (said the witnesses) were unhappy with the police," Mr Courtney said.

He said a Warwick police sergeant allegedly waited until the inquest to make a written statement.

"Lacking objectivity, he left the scene with a firm view of who was driving," Mr Courtney said.

"He demonstrated a lack of attention."

Lawyer Eoin Mac Giolla Ri, representing the individual police officers, said police had conducted the investigation well and did not feel it necessary to report to higher up the chain of command.

But the question of which of the four friends was driving the silver Honda still remains a topic of debate.

Mr Courtney told the court that despite hearing all witness recounts, he still could not say who was driving the vehicle, but it was most likely not Brett McKenzie.

"The car was Abby Ezzy's, she drove and Brett drank and no-one saw Brett driving."

Abby Ezzy's father Denis also presented his own submission to the court, detailing why he believed his daughter was not the driver of the Honda.

He said she was a timid and law-abiding driver who would not have driven with three passengers after 11pm while on her P plates.

Lawyer Bill McMillan suggested to Coroner Previtera she be mindful of expert witness evidence when compiling her report and findings.

The Coroner will now collate all of the evidence.

She will prepare her findings in a report to be presented to the court on April 3.

The Daily News will bring the result of the findings when they are released next month.


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