Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.
Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.

Tragic development in crash that killed mum, four kids

DETECTIVES are now treating the deaths of a mother and her four children killed in a horrific head-on crash as a murder-suicide.

At this stage, the deaths have not been added to the national road toll.

Charmaine McLeod and her four children were incinerated in a car crash near Kumbia. Picture: Facebook
Charmaine McLeod and her four children were incinerated in a car crash near Kumbia. Picture: Facebook

"There is very specific rules about traffic crashes that occur when these … it's not intentional, in other words it's a straight crash," Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said today.

"But there are very different rules - that's why we now have homicide detectives working on this case - where there is a potential that there was an intention for someone to die.

"This will take some time and obviously the coroner has a great interest in the outcome of that investigation.

"But no matter what happened, no matter why it happened, it's a tragedy for all of those involved and the Queensland community."

When asked if the crash was being investigated as a homicide Mr Stewart said "absolutely".

Police yesterday said the were keeping open-minded in the investigation and would be thorough before preparing a report for the coroner.

The burnt out truck at the scene of the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.
The burnt out truck at the scene of the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.

Road Policing Command Superintendent Dave Johnson yesterday said: "I understand that there's a range of investigators involved in that matter and we will look at all courses of action and all … avenues as to causal factors."

"So we look at every road crash that occurs where a death has occurred on our roads and there are guidelines and directions on a national level as to what is defined as a fatality," Supt Johnson said.

"I won't talk specifically on that particular matter other than to say there's a further investigation involving the positioning of the vehicle and why it was on the road at the time and where it was and what circumstances, if any, are known to police in relation to that matter.

"There's a thorough investigation and there will be a report prepared for our coroner and then we'll present all the facts on that where the coroner will make a determination about the cause of death and what has occurred.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed homicide detectives were involved. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed homicide detectives were involved. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

"But police are doing a very thorough investigation, they are putting a lot of resources towards that.

"As everybody in this room knows, it was a tragic circumstance for all those involved at the scene and all those emergency services responders that attended the scene as well.

"It was absolutely horrific carnage that they came across and innocent loss of lives."

When asked if police knew why Ms McLeod was on the road at that time of night, Supt Johnson said "no".

He said police were looking at "all angles" of the investigation as to what has caused the crash.

Supt Johnson would not be drawn on whether police believed the crash was intentional, saying: "There is no indication at this stage, other than a thorough investigation needs to be completed to understand what's occurred."

Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.
Wyatt, Ally, Zaidok and Matilda were killed in the crash on the Bunya Highway at Kumbia.

Asked whether the condition of the road would have prevented Ms McLeod from seeing an oncoming truck, Supt Johnson said "I have no information to tell me that."

"But certainly, our forensic crash investigators that are very experienced and very competent, have done a detailed investigation … both the preliminary officers have attended the scene and we've sent additional officers up there for a thorough mapping of the complete scene there to understand visibility et cetera," he said.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Line 1800 659 467

GriefLine 1300 845 745



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