Charmaine McLeod, 35, the mother of Aaleyn, Wyatt, Zaidok, and Matilda—all six years old or under—crashed into a truck that evening. The Australian media reported that officers found no skid-marks at the site of the collision, suggesting that McLeod did not brake before the impact.
Authorities also found a possible suicide note at the scene of the crash, according to The Courier Mail.
The neighbours would hear the McLeod children play in their backyard near Hervey Bay but yesterday the laughter stopped after a 6yo, 5yo, 4yo, 2yo and their 34yo mother Charmaine Harris McLeod were killed in one of the state’s worst road tragedies in recent memory. – @couriermail pic.twitter.com/8ypeiHcwQs
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) May 28, 2019
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart of Queensland said that the crash may not have been an accident, according to Mirror, but they have refused to call it a murder-suicide.
“It’s certainly one of the worst accidents I’ve ever seen,” said a police officer in an interview with Sky News Australia. McLeod is believed to have attempted to pass a vehicle, leading to a collision with a truck in the opposite lane.
Sky News reported that both the truck and car “burst into flames.” All but one child was killed on impact, while the remaining child died after being flown to the Queensland Children’s Hospital.
The only survivor of the crash was the 47-year-old truck-driver, who is being treated at the Kingaroy Hospital, reported Sky News. He survived the crash with non-life-threatening injuries.
“It is just a tragedy for everyone involved,” said the officer.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) May 31, 2019
Crash Was Hours Away From Home
James McLeod, Charmaine’s husband, has asked why his family was so far away from home when the accident happened, according to The Courier-Mail, reported News Pty. James said “no relatives or family” of his wife’s lived in that area.
The distraught father of four young children killed in a “catastrophic” crash in Queensland has broken his silence. It comes as family and friends take on the heartbreaking job of arranging funerals for the family. https://t.co/5nnU4c94a4 pic.twitter.com/bfq3F007pq
— The Courier-Mail (@couriermail) May 29, 2019
The crash site is said to be a dangerous zone.
“We have a lot of rural roads in this area as well that can be particular dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with those roads,” an officer told News Pty.
The potential suicide letter, which may have been written by McLeod, was found over 200 yards from the crash site, reported The Courier Mail. Details of the letter have not been disclosed, nor has the case been officially turned into a murder-suicide investigation.
However, Stewart did confirm the possibility to News Pty, saying, “We now have homicide detectives working on this case where there is the potential for an intention for someone to die.”
The Queensland Police Commissioner has confirmed homicide detectives are investigating the death of a mother and her four children, who were killed in a fiery crash earlier this week. https://t.co/340BjgVa2f #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/H4bDgZ4E2l
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) May 31, 2019
Four days ago a GoFundMe campaign was created for the families funeral expenses. The goal was set to $30,000, and as of June 2, $17,300 have been raised by 426 people.
“You guys were beautiful souls, so kind with so much potential,” wrote Zowie in the campaign’s comment section. “Will miss you guys visiting.. xoxo.”
“If only I could hug you all one more time…RIP,” said another.
The most liked comment was by Marie, who said that the extra funds should go to the truck driver in the crash.
The campaign’s story states that the extra funds will be given to a charity called Youth Insearch, a charitable organization that “has helped over 30,000 young people to rebuild their lives,” according to its website.