Police rule out speed and drugs as cause of fatal crash

Zak Sweetman, 18, died at the scene of a single vehicle rollover at Glen Aplin Saturday night.Photo Contributed
Zak Sweetman, 18, died at the scene of a single vehicle rollover at Glen Aplin Saturday night.Photo Contributed Contributed

UPDATE: Police have ruled out speeding and intoxicated driving as a factor in a double fatal crash in which two teenagers died.

Tenterfield teens Zak Sweetman, 18, and Luke Smith, 16, died at the scene of a single vehicle rollover at Glen Aplin near Stanthorpe late Saturday night.

They had been passengers in the northbound Holden dual cab utility on the New England Hwy and were flung from the vehicle when it veered off the highway and rolled.

The ute was found 20m from the road.

Stanthorpe police Officer-in-Charge Senior Sergeant Mark Ireland said the crash was still being investigated.

"Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. However it is not believed that speed, alcohol or drugs contributed," he said.

Luke Smith, 16, died at the scene of a single vehicle rollover at Glen Aplin Saturday night.
Luke Smith, 16, died at the scene of a single vehicle rollover at Glen Aplin Saturday night. Contributed

The two other occupants of the vehicle, Brandon Cross and Corey Tonkin, were taken to Stanthorpe Hospital early Sunday morning for treatment of minor injuries and shock.

The small New South Wales town of Tenterfield has been left devastated at the tragedy with tributes flowing on social media from a community in shock.

Mr Sweetman has been remembered as a "beautiful soul" always smiling, with a love of friends and family.

It is the second tragedy to befall the Sweetman family in the past five years after Zak's older brother Brendan died after he jumped into a waterhole at Boonoo Boonoo National Park.

Two men, from Tenterfield died when thrown from this ute in a crash in Glen Aplin. Photo: 7 Local News Toowoomba.
Two men, from Tenterfield died when thrown from this ute in a crash in Glen Aplin. Photo: 7 Local News Toowoomba. Photo Contributed

Mr Smith is being remembered as a loving family member and friend to his Tenterfield State High School peers.

Both he and Mr Sweetman were members of their local motocross club.

Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing but police have ruled out any other vehicles being involved.

A report will be made for the Coroner.

UPDATE: POLICE have released the ages and hometown of two teenage males killed in a single vehicle roll over at Glen Aplin near Stanthorpe at 11.30pm Saturday.

A spokesman for Police Media said males, aged 18 and 16, from Tenterfield had been fatally injured in the crash on the New England Highway.

The driver was a 17-year-old man from Tenterfield. He and a passenger, a 19-year-old man, suffered minor injuries and shock and were taken to Stanthorpe Hospital. The ambulance arrived at the hospital at 12.50am today.

It is understood the vehicle was travelling towards Stanthorpe when the accident happened.

The Queensland Ambulance Service sent two vehicles from Stanthorpe to the scene and a third ambulance was on the way from Tenterfield but not required.

Police said the vehicle rolled at least once and ended up 20 metres off the highway. One passenger in the rear passenger seat was ejected from the vehicle at the time of impact and another in the front seat was helped out of the vehicle.

The Queensland Police Forensic Crash Unit has been on scene and will report to the coroner.

EARLIER: THE Forensic Crash Unit was soon on the scene to investigate a double fatality on the New England Highway at Glen Aplin at 11.30pm Saturday.

Two male teenagers died on the scene in the single vehicle traffic crash.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service received the call at 11.36pm and proceeded to the scene after being told two of the teenagers had been thrown from the vehicle.

One of the fire fighters drove the ambulance to the Stanthorpe Hospital with the other two male teenagers who were injured.

The QFRS made the scene safe and ready for Forensic Crash Unit officers from the Queensland Police Service to investigate.

The crew from the QFRS left the scene at 2.51am today.

Soon after the accident, police stated that initial investigations indicate the vehicle has left the roadway for unknown reasons and rolled. No other vehicles appear to have been involved.



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