Highway crash inquest opens
AN inquest into a horror accident that killed popular local youngsters Nick Nolan, Max Thorley, Brett McKenzie and Abigail (Abby) Ezzy in 2008 has begun in the Brisbane Coroners' Court.
During the course of Monday and yesterday, the court heard evidence from a number of witness statements on the fatal crash that took place on the night of Saturday January 5, 2008.
The four friends died when a B-double truck struck the Honda sedan in which they were travelling near the Willowvale turnoff on the Cunningham Hwy, north of Warwick at about 11.30pm that night.
The four died at the scene.
Aged between 18 and 21, the boys were understood to have been at a 21st birthday party earlier in the evening and later were on their way north with Abby to another location when the collision occurred.
The tragedy shocked the Warwick community, with an outpouring of grief as the four were farewelled over the following week.
With questions about the events of the night still unanswered, the inquest aims to determine the circumstances of the collision and who was driving the Honda.
Christine Bell, a witness to the accident, yesterday recalled a scenario inconsistent with a statement she wrote four years ago.
"The car (allegedly the silver Honda which the four victims were travelling in) overtook us very quickly on the driver's side," Ms Bell said.
"I remember seeing a boy in the back seat behind the passenger.
"I still remember the smile on his face as he passed a can outside the window."
She wrote in her statement that it looked as though the silver sedan had performed a U-turn immediately before the collision.
But yesterday she recalled the collision happening just seconds after the Honda overtook her vehicle, limiting the time it would have had to perform the manoeuvre.
Ms Bell told the court she was also concerned with the way police had handled the situation.
She claimed her handwritten statement was much longer than the printed copy which was submitted as formal evidence to the inquest.
Another witness, Susan Bontoft, who saw the four prior to the accident, said she did not see who was driving the vehicle.
She did however remember that Abby Ezzy was standing closest to the driver's side of the vehicle before they began driving.
The inquest before Coroner Tina Previtera is set down to run until Friday.