Alarming new details about the horror smash that killed five teenagers in Buxton have emerged, as the teenage driver is released from prison under house arrest.
Wearing prison greens and sporting a moustache and goatee, 18-year-old Tyrell Edwards looked on as Justice Robert Beech-Jones granted him bail under strict conditions to live with parents and have no contact with anyone aged under 18 unless in the company of his mother.
Edwards dropped his eyes as the court heard startling details of what happened just before the ute Edwards was driving smashed into two trees on September 6.
Justice Beech-Jones said that after crossing onto the wrong side of the road at East Parade in Buxton, the ute ‘was rotating clockwise before it collided with the first tree which then caused it to rotate anti-clockwise before colliding with the second tree’.
The judge said this had happened as a result of Edwards ‘aggressively swerving’ as he drove with an unrestrained passenger in the rear of the ute.
He said Edwards had filmed himself doing so an hour before the fatal 8pm crash and had apparently been ‘trying the same manoeuvre’ just before the tragedy.
Tyrell Edwards will be released on bail to live with his parents (above) and is effectively under house arrest, unable to leave without the company of his mother Renee
Edwards was behind the wheel when his Nissan ute smashed into a tree in Buxton
Tyrell Edwards, 18, (pictured) was the sole survivor of the crash and has been charged with five counts of dangerous driving occasioning death
The court heard that around 7.30pm, half an hour before the fatal smash, Edwards had driven close to another vehicle and ‘then accelerated away’.
Conditions imposed on Edwards while on bail include that he abide by a curfew, he must not leave his parents’ home unless in the company of his mother, he must not drink alcohol and does not get behind the wheel of any vehicle.
A jail psychologist’s report tendered in the 18-year-old’s application for release said he had an ‘introvert nature’, was a ‘moderately high suicide risk’, had survivor guilt and felt shame, and was aware of the ‘stigma he would face… in custody and in the community’.
Noting that the five offences Edwards is charged with have a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and that he was facing a long sentence, Justice Beech-Jones said: ‘It appears (his) punishment has already commenced.’
Remnants of a green P-plate at the site on a road in Buxton where the five teens died in a car crash
John van der Putte touches the outside of the hearse carrying his daughter Lily, 15, in a final goodbye at her funeral on September 16 during a week of gut-wrenching emotion for the crash families
The September 6 crash killed three girls and two boys who – all friends of Edwards aged between 14 and 16.
Edwards was charged with five counts of dangerous driving causing death and was initially refused bail at Picton Local Court on September 8.
Lawyers for Edwards told the NSW Supreme Court two weeks ago that the P-plater had been on suicide watch inside Silverwater’s Metropolitan Remand and Reception prison since September 8.
The revelation came as the last of the funerals for the killed teens – for Summer Williams, 14, and Antonio Desisto, 16 – were held following a week of emotional farewells for Tyrese Bechard, 15, Lily van de Putte, 15, and Gabriella McLennan, 14.
Gabriella McLennan, 14, is carried from the church after an emotional farewell by family and friends during a week of funerals for the five young crash victims
Police will allege officers obtained footage of the teens inside the car in the hour before the crash.
The September 8 court hearing was told that about an hour before the fatal crash Edwards was filmed aggressively turning the wheel of the ute and swerving at 90km/hour.
Court documents claim that during the phone video, one of the alleged victims can be heard saying from the back seat: ‘We’re going to spin out, cuz.’
In an interview with police, Edwards allegedly told officers his steering wheel began ‘shaking’ and that he lost control of the vehicle.
Tyrell Edwards was on suicide watch in Silverwater prison (above) for almost a month after he was initially refused bail following his arrest on charges related to the crash
Friends of the five students killed on September 6 visited the site of the crash a day after the multiple fatalities
Magistrate Mark Douglass at the time said the decision to deny bail was ‘not made easily’ but he had taken into account Edwards’ driving history.
‘Given the egregious breach of trust, given the blatant breach of road rules that police allege occurred, this court has no confidence that this particular person would comply, given the history I’ve explained, with any bail conditions the court set at this particular point in time,’ Mr Douglass said at the September 8 hearing.
Edwards, who worked as a labourer, has a history of anxiety and was left ‘traumatised’ by the incident, the court was told.
For confidential crisis support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
Gabriella McLennan is pictured left with her best friend, Lily van de Putte. They died together in the car crash
Antonio Desisto (pictured right) and Summer Williams (left) also died in the car accident on September 6
Tyrese Bechard (pictured) died in the car accident when a Nissan ute slammed into two trees on East Parade in Buxton