Two cousins killed in a tragic dirt bike accident during a Father’s Day party at their uncle’s house have been farewelled by more than a thousand mourners.
Ali Elhouli, 17, and Zena Houli, 18, died after crashing off-road motorbikes at their family’s property on Beattys Rd in Grangefields, in Melbourne’s northwest, about 6.35pm on Sunday.
Mourners streamed into the Australian Islamic Centre in Newport, just west of Melbourne, to pay their respects to the teenagers.
Mourners have farewelled Ali Elhouli, 17, and Zena Houli, 18, during a service in Newport on Thursday
Fatima Elhouli is pictured with her brother Ali, 17, who died in a dirt bike crash at Grangefields, in Melbourne’s west, on Sunday night
One man attended the service in a wheelchair and was supported by a group of men
Two women embraced in a carpark before entering the Australian Islamic Centre on Thursday
Two women sat on a bench nearby before the memorial for Ali, 17, and Zena, 18, began
Police say the exact circumstances surrounding the collision are yet to be established
A group of women dressed in traditional Muslim garb were seen entering the service
The funeral was attended by more than a thousand mourners
Mourners spanned in age from the very young to the elderly – some dressed in traditional Muslim garb.
The pair were laid to rest down the highway in Werribee near where they grew up.
An uncle of the pair said the family were all deeply traumatised by the loss of their loved ones.
Police say they are still working to determine the cause of the crash as the family have been ‘uncooperative’, but detectives have determined the bikes were unregistered.
Family members on Monday told how Zena, from Altona Meadows, died almost instantly – with relatives rushing to the scene after hearing the crash.
Ali, from Hoppers Crossing, was rushed to hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.
Two young boys, aged 11 and 6, were also caught up in the accident.
They were rushed to hospital in critical conditions but are now stable. It is understood they each suffered multiple broken bones.
Zena’s father, also called Ali, 43, was injured while trying to reach the teenagers on a quad bike.
It’s understood he lost control of the bike as he got close to the incident and was also injured.
He was also taken to hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Lineham told Radio 3AW there was a Father’s Day party being held at the property at the time of the crash.
Mourners stream into the Australian Islamic Centre in Newport on Thursday
Mourners gathered outside the Newport mosque to farewell the pair after they died on Sunday
Mourners turned out in their hundreds to farewell the teenagers
Cousin Zena Houli, 18 (pictured) was also involved in the crash and tragically died at the scene
He said the Major Collision Investigation Unit is probing the accident and exact circumstances surrounding the collision are yet to be established, but police are aware the bikes were unregistered.
‘The family – members at the party – they’re being uncooperative with police so inquiries are continuing but we’re asking for anyone to come forward.
‘We don’t know how the two children were injured.
‘It’s incredibly hard for police to do their job when people won’t provide the details.’
Sgt Lineham urged anyone who witnessed the accident to contact police.
‘We do appeal to the family to come forward, regardless of how they feel about police,’ he said.
The owner of the property and uncle of the teens killed, Omar El Houli, told reporters the loss was ‘heartbreaking’.
‘We were driving down (the road) and we got out.
It’s understood the two bikes were being ridden on a private property before the incident. A man, 43, rode to the scene of the crash on a quad bike but was also injured when he lost control of the vehicle
Omar El Houli (pictured) said his nephew and niece were ‘good kids’
Zena Elhouli is pictured in October 2022, when she passed her provisional license test
Tributes have begun pouring in online for the two teenagers. Pictured: Ali Elhouli (left)
Helmet parts were seen scattered by the roadside on Sunday night as officers investigated the crash
‘My niece was on the floor dead and my nephew was also on the ground.
‘I wanted to see who they were, it was my farm. I saw the motorbikes, I saw them, they were on the ground.
‘I couldn’t imagine anything worse than what happened.’
Mr El Houli said the teenagers were family-oriented and loved spending time with their relatives.
‘They loved just being happy, they loved being all together, they just enjoyed life,’ he said.
‘They’re beautiful kids with beautiful parents, it’s unfortunate what happened.
‘They’re in heaven looking down on us now.’
Meanwhile, tributes have begun to flow online for the teenagers’ whose lives were tragically cut short.
‘Love you Zena Houli,’ one friend wrote.
‘Forever 18 beautiful girl.’
‘Fly high my angel.’
Jaz Haddara said she was so shocked by the news she has been lost for words.
Police have wrapped up initial investigations into the crash and reopened Beattys Rd on Monday morning
‘Sending my condolences to Zena Houli who went to school with my son,’ she said.
‘Such a good girl. Thoughts to the family.’
Another friend said: ‘Rest in peace now Ali.’
‘I love you forever.’
Any witnesses or anyone with dashcam, CCTV footage, or information about the crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.