An 18-year-old worker, who was behind bars in a crash that killed five passengers, previously filmed himself driving dangerously, court documents claim.
Tyrell Edwards, 18, was driving a Nissan Navara Ute when it crashed into two trees near the village of Buxton in Wollondilly Shire on Tuesday night, killing three girls and two boys aged between 14 and 16.
He was denied bail by a judge on five counts of dangerous driving resulting in death on Thursday after prosecutors told police a video allegedly taken in the run-up to the fatal accident supported elements of the offenses and showed a high level of morality Fault.
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The video, which Edwards filmed on his phone about an hour before the accident, shows him driving with two of the victims, according to a summary of police facts.
Edwards holds his phone while aggressively turning the steering wheel while loud music plays.
A man is heard in the car saying, “We’re going to spin out cuz.”
In the moments leading up to the accident, police allege that Edwards was driving at high speed, lost control, went on the wrong side of the road and drove about 40m on a grassy shoulder.
Research suggests that the ute spun clockwise for about 50 m, struck a tree, and then spun counter-clockwise before striking a second tree.
The force of the two impacts ripped open the Ute cabin, tore the back seat out of the vehicle and threw the five victims out of the vehicle. Their bodies were found nearby.
‘I screwed up’
The court documents say witnesses heard Edwards say, “I screwed up, I’m going to jail.”
The driver, who suffered minor injuries, will remain in custody until November after appearing before Picton Magistrates Court via video link on Thursday.
When he asked for his release, his lawyer argued that the 18-year-old had been severely traumatized by the incident.
Edwards finished 11th grade at Picton High School last year – the same school as the alleged victims – and now works as a laborer, the court was told.
He had previously suffered from anxiety and has sought psychological treatment for the illness.
After the accident, Edwards told police the Ute was out of control after a steering error that caused the wheel to “shake and go from left to right.” Braking failed to stop the vehicle, he said.
Picton Judge Mark Douglass concluded that Edwards posed a risk to the community and could manipulate witnesses because of his strong ties to the community.
“It’s not an easy decision — he’s a young man who has never been incarcerated,” Douglass said.
Edwards had held a driver’s license for a short time, had two speeding offenses and had his license suspended earlier this year.
The bail hearing had to be streamed online after crowds of family and friends entered the small county courthouse.
Exaven Desisto, the father of the accident victim Antonio, told the media in court that he did not want to see anyone behind bars.
“I have to visit my son in the damn morgue,” he said.
Camden Police Chief Superintendent Paul Fuller, a 38-year-old police veteran, described the crash site as “one of the worst crash sites I’ve ever encountered.”
Distraught teenagers in school uniforms laid flowers and cards at the crash site on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet visited the school and spoke to teachers on Wednesday afternoon, saying: “We will do everything we can to help this wonderful community get through this.”
Edwards will appear again at Picton Magistrates’ Court on November 16.
https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/court-documents-reveal-buxton-drivers-alleged-first-words-after-horror-crash-c-8162911 Court documents reveal the Buxton driver’s alleged first words after the horror crash