A driver who allegedly hit a group of five people and killed two children in central west NSW has never held a driver’s licence and was in possession of drugs at the time of the crash, police say.
The two children, brothers aged six and seven, died on Tuesday afternoon after they were struck by a car at high speed while walking home from the local swimming pool on Warne Street in Wellington.
Three other people were injured in the crash – two boys aged nine and ten, and a 34-year-old woman who is mother to three of the four boys.
The 10-year-old was airlifted to Sydney with serious leg injuries, while the woman was airlifted to Sydney but is now in a stable condition.
The nine-year-old boy suffered minor injuries.
Police allege the 25-year-old male driver, who has never held a driver’s licence, fled from the scene. He was arrested on Elizabeth Street in Wellington four hours later after attempting to run away from police.
He was allegedly in possession of prescription drugs at the time.
The 25-year-old was on Wednesday charged with 14 offences including dangerous driving occasioning death, driving without a licence, failing to stop and assist and possessing prohibited drugs.
The man will appear before Dubbo Local Court on Thursday.
“The incident was a complete tragedy for the families and the township of Wellington,” NSW Police Acting Superintendent Natalie Antaw told reporters.
“This is a tragic incident involving young children … children makes it that much more difficult, our hearts go out to the families.”
Supt Antaw said the man’s drug and alcohol test results had not yet returned and she did not believe anyone else was in the vehicle with the 25-year-old.
Counselling would be provided for the victims’ families.
A GoFundMe page has also been established by the brothers’ aunt to pay for their funeral costs and “bury (the) babies with dignity and pride”.
NSW Ambulance on Tuesday admitted the crash scene was confronting.
“We were confronted with an absolutely devastating scene in Wellington … it’s heartbreaking for this to happen to such a small community,” NSW Ambulance zone manager Andrew Degabriel said in a statement.