Friends and family have gathered for the funerals of four children killed along with their mother in a horrific car crash in Queensland last month.
Four white coffins carrying the bodies of the McLeod youngsters Aaleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4, and Zaidok, 2, were topped with photographs at the service on Friday.
Several hundred mourners including young friends of the dead children attended the funeral at Urraween Crematorium on the Fraser Coast.
Mother Chairmaine McLeod, 35, was also killed when her vehicle collided with a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia in Queensland on May 27.
The crash, which occurred three hours from the family’s Hervey Bay home, is being treated as a suspected murder-suicide.
Four white coffins carrying the bodies of the McCleod youngsters: Aaleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4, and Zaidok, 2, were topped with photographs at their funeral service on Friday. The children were killed when their mother crashed her car into a truck in Queensland last month
Chairmaine McLeod, 35, died instantly last month when she was overtaking a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, Queensland, along with her four children (all pictured)
The McLeod family has been raising money for two truck drivers involved in the fatal crash
The children’s father spent time alone with the coffins before the service began. A separate funeral was to be held for Ms McLeod.
‘There are no footprints so small that they do not leave an impact on this world,’ the order of service stated. ‘All children are miracles, even the ones who didn’t stay long.’
Outside the crematorium mourners blew bubbles and were invited to make thumb prints on a canvas to form leaves on a tree.
More than 150 people attended an earlier memorial held for her and the children in Hervey Bay last Friday night.
Disney songs played before the service and some of Ms Mcleod’s family came to the memorial dressed as angels while many of the children dressed as superheroes.
The 47-year-old truck driver whose vehicle Ms McLeod hit was injured when he jumped out of his mangled cab and tried to free the family from their burning car.
Mark, the driver of another truck which Ms McLeod overtook shortly before the crash, has said he also tried to rescue the family but the fuel tank burst and engulfed the car in flames.
In loving memory of the McLeod children: Aaleyn Faith, Matilda Azaria, Wyatt James and Zaidoc John. The children’s deaths in a car crash are being treated as suspected murders
Mourners blew bubbles outside the funeral service for the McLeod children on Friday
More than 150 people attended an earlier memorial held for her and the children in Hervey Bay on June 7. Pictured are mourners at the children’s funeral on Friday
He also contradicted reports that the crash happened as she tried to overtake his truck on the crest of a hill.
‘I was right behind her and although I won’t discuss anything I saw with anyone other than the detective in charge, I will not let this family think she overtook me dangerously. She did not. Fact,’ he wrote on social media.
Mark said Ms McLeod had overtaken him some distance back, without incident. although he would not go into detail about what he saw next.
‘It’s just not right that the families who are going through hell will spend the rest of their lives thinking those kids died because their mother overtook dangerously,’ he said.
‘I can’t talk about the impact in front of me, but I can say she overtook me very safely.
‘What happened in front of me few dozen metres later is up to the experts to determine.’
Mourners were invited to put their thumb prints on a canvas outside the service, forming leaves on a tree
A mourner presses his thumb onto a canvas outside the funeral for the four McLeod children
Ms McLeod’s family has previously said it would donate more than $5,000 to the two innocent truck drivers involved.
Her sister Katie Harris said this week the family would to use some of the $18,800 proceeds of a fundraiser to support the two drivers.
‘We have decided to distribute the last of the funds to the drivers of the trucks involved, for their effort and to try and ease their financial burdens at this time,’ Ms Harris said.
Both the driver of the truck Ms McLeod hit, and ‘Mark’ will receive $5,855.
Two mourners at the Fraser Coast funeral of the four McLeod children hug on Friday afternoon
Police suspect Ms McLeod (pictured with her son) intentionally crashed her car into the oncoming truck after veering on to the wrong side of the highway
Ms Harris has begun selling off her sister, nephews, and nieces’ possessions.
Photos of the items for sale showed four children’s bikes, a toy car, and a $100 dining table piled high with CDs and boxes of other goods.
Ms Harris, who was very close to the children, was frequently seen at Ms McLeod’s home in the Hervey Bay suburb of Eli Waters.
The devoted aunt has struggled with the family being killed since the crash, posting heartbreaking photos of the family on her Facebook.
‘I miss them so much,’ she wrote this week, next to a photo of the four children smiling happily.
Police suspect Ms McLeod intentionally crashed her car into the oncoming truck after veering on to the wrong side of the highway.
The crash happened 7km outside Kumbia on Bunya Highway, south of the turn off to the Bunya mountains, toward Dalby. Pictured is the scene
A woman carries flowers as she attends a funeral for the McLeod children on Friday afternoon
Investigators reportedly found a handwritten note 200m from the scene that led to homicide detectives being assigned to the case.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed the crash was ‘absolutely’ being investigated as a homicide.
He said homicide detectives were working the case as ‘there is a potential that there was an intention for someone to die’.
There were no skid marks along the wrong side of the road where Ms McLeod’s car hurtled towards the truck that crushed it and killed everyone inside.
Commisioner Stewart said it may take some time to uncover what caused the crash and, for the time being, the deaths haven’t been added to the national road toll.
Police also don’t know where Ms McLeod was heading when the accident occurred, as the car was travelling south along the highway, about three hours from home.
A boy walks into the funeral service for the four McLeod children which was attended by several hundred mourners at Urraween Crematorium on the Fraser Coast
Despite being part of a seemingly happy family, Ms McLeod posted comments in online support groups about troubles in her life, including her marriage breakdown
They believed the family were driving from the Bundaberg area, about 90 minutes north of Hervey Bay.
Superintendent Dave Johnson previously said officers were looking at the case from ‘all angles’ to determine the exact causative factors.
Despite being part of a seemingly happy family, Ms McLeod posted comments in online support groups about troubles in her life, including her marriage breakdown.
On one occasion, she wrote about about feeling ‘lost and alone’, while in another post she replied to a question about items she would rescue from a burning house.
‘My children can’t be replaced, so I would rescue my children first,’ she wrote.
Mourners comfort each other outside the funeral in Urraween Crematorium on Friday
Matilda, 5, pictured left with her daycare teacher, was killed inside the car along with her mother and brothers. Zaidok, 2, pictured right, was the youngest of the four siblings killed
The family is alleged to have also had involvement with the Department of Child Safety, but the department refused to comment on the matter.
A friend of Ms McLeod said she was in the process of moving when her life was cut short.
In an emotional farewell to her close friend, the woman wrote: ‘The night you all grew your wings was meant to be your fresh start.’
‘No one knows exactly what happened and why it happened but it happened and your fresh start ended so quickly.
‘Thank you for your support and thank you for your chats. Will be forever grateful.’
The father of the children and Ms McLeod’s ex-partner, James McLeod, said there were no friends or family who lived in the area of the crash, and he had no idea why they were there at the time of the crash.
‘There are no footprints so small that they do not leave an impact on this world. All children are miracles, even the ones who didn’t stay long’