Australia Police probe 'catastrophic' crash that killed four Melbourne teens
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Aand severely injured two others in Melbourne's west last month is under investigation by the homicide squad.
The four teenagers were travelling along Dohertys Road in Truganina when they collided with a truck near Forsyth Road at around 7.30pm on September 30.
Four teenage boys, including the 16-year-old driver and his passengers aged 15, 16 and 17, were killed in the crash. Two other boys aged 15 and 17 sustained life-threatening injuries.
The 28-year-old male truck driver was also taken to hospital with serious lower body injuries.
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Police are now probing an altercation that occurred just eight minutes before the teens were killed in the collision.
A fight broke out outside Tarneit Shopping Centre on Derrimut Road, approximately five kilometres from the collision scene, between the teenagers and unknown males in three other vehicles, including a red Volkswagen Golf GTI, a blue Volkswagen Golf R and a red Holden VF Commodore.
Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said police were yet to determine the reason for the altercation and if it had any relevance to the collision that occurred minutes later.
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"We have a young, unlicensed driver travelling at speed in an overloaded vehicle full of young men not wearing seatbelts," he said.
"This is now compounded by the circumstances leading up to the collision and Homicide and Major Collision investigators are working to establish what connection this altercation could have to the way the victim's vehicle was being driven.
"It may be that it has no connection but we really need to speak to the occupants of those three vehicles to find out more."
Police have released CCTV and images of the fight in the hope that someone will be able to identify the three vehicles and the unknown males.
Detectives also want to speak to anyone who can provide further information about the altercation and the reason for it.
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"I'm appealing for anyone who has information about those vehicles to come forward, or for the occupants to make contact with police themselves," Detective Thomas said.
"If you have any information at all, or if you have any CCTV or dash-cam footage of the collision or the events preceding it, then we urge you to come forward."
People living in or travelling through the Truganina and Tarneit areas around Poplar Boulevard, Derrimut Road and Dohertys Road have been urged to check any CCTV footage they may have for the night between 5pm and 8pm.
Police have described the fatal crash as "catastrophic" and remain determined to provide the victims and their grieving families with answers.
"This collision had led to at least seven lives being irrevocably changed – four young lives have been taken far too soon, two others have been dramatically altered, and we have an innocent truck driver who will no doubt take a long time to recover from his experience," Detective Thomas said.
"I know Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir described the incident as 'catastrophic' and I still believe that is an incredibly accurate word to use.
"We're hopeful that the investigation can provide some answers to each of the victims' families about why this tragic incident occurred."
Anyone witnesses or anyone with footage is urged to contacton 1800 333 000.
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