Teen accused of fatal crash checked by police in bed

Emily Woods |

A teen accused of driving a stolen Jeep that killed another driver was checked on by police hours after the crash and found in bed with a doona pulled up to his chin.

Police are relying on a pair of white shoes, a phone call and an accusation by a young female co-accused to prove the 17-year-old was behind the wheel during the deadly crash.

The teen has been charged with culpable driving causing death and faced a children’s court on Thursday afternoon.

Police allege he was the driver of the stolen Jeep, which had up to six occupants when it crashed into a Toyota on Tuesday evening.

The Jeep was driving at high speed when it hit the second vehicle near the intersection of Warrigal and Highbury roads at Burwood about 7pm, police say.

The 28-year-old man driving the Toyota died at the scene. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Christian Von Tunk
Detective Senior Sergeant Christian Von Tunk cited a mobile phone and white shoes as evidence. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS)

The Jeep continued on for about 50m before hitting a tree, with all six occupants running from the scene, Detective Senior Sergeant Christian Von Tunk told the court on Thursday.

He said witnesses saw the group removing latex gloves as they fled.

Two 15-year-old girls were chased down by members of the public and then taken to hospital under police guard.

They have since been charged with car theft.

Police arrested a 17-year-old boy in Malvern East on Wednesday night and charged him with culpable and dangerous driving causing death, failure to stop and render assistance, car theft and unlicensed driving.

Three other males remain on the run.

The teen was not on bail at the time, with the court told a Heidelberg magistrate removed his bail in March.

However, Det Sen Sgt Von Tunk said police did not know his bail had been lifted and visited him on the night of the crash to check he was abiding by his curfew. 

“He was present at home, with a doona pulled up to his chin,” he told the court.

Prosecutors asked the court for 12 weeks to prepare a brief, but the children’s court judge asked what evidence they had to prove he was the driver of the Jeep.

The prosecutor said police seized a pair of white shoes from the boy’s home when they arrested him, which she alleged the driver was seen wearing in CCTV footage of the collision.

She said they also seized a mobile phone, which she alleged was used to make a call near the scene.

“So it’s a cell tower and a pair of white shoes?” the judge asked.

“Yes, Your Honour,” the prosecutor replied.

She said one of the two girls arrested told police the 17-year-old was the driver, but the judge said evidence from a co-accused was inadmissible.

Det Sen Sgt Von Tunk said a search of the vehicle found a large machete, vapes, perfumes, boxes of gloves and Windex glass cleaner inside the Jeep.

He alleged the Jeep had been stolen days earlier during an aggravated burglary and used in two armed robberies before the crash, including one where three offenders were armed with a machete.

The prosecution applied for a forensic examination to get the boy’s DNA and to take photos of his physical injuries, to prove he was the driver.

The application was adjourned, and the boy was taken into custody to face court again on Friday.