Five teenagers travelling in a stolen vehicle were being "chased" by another car before the 17-year-old driver sped away and crashed into a light pole with such force that the Commodore split in two, killing four of the boys.
Coroner Dominic Mulligan was told this morning that the young occupants of the stolen vehicle were "scared" and the vehicle had been travelling at a "very fast" speed before it crashed on the night of June 27, 2008, on Pinjarra Road in Ravenswood.
Three brothers and their older cousin, the driver of the stolen car, died as a result of injuries from the crash.
In his opening address, counsel assisting the coroner, Jeremy Johnston, said 10-year-old Jeremy Nannup and 11-year-old Benjamin Nannup died at the scene.
Their older brother, 15-year-old Matthew Indich, was airlifted to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1.20am.
Their cousin and the driver of the vehicle, 17-year-old Quentin Hume, also died at the scene, while another cousin and passenger in the vehicle, Gregory Beau Pickett, survived.
Toxicology tests revealed that Jeremy, Benjamin and Quentin had used cannabis some time that day. Jeremy and Quentin also gave positive readings for alcohol.
Mr Johnston told the inquest that the Holden Commodore had been stolen at about 10pm from a house outside the Pinjarra townsite.He said it appeared some of the older boys had been planning to travel to an 18th birthday party.
The younger boys, in particular, had been told by their mother, Natalie Clarke, that they were not to go out that night.
Mr Johnston said while the owner of the car, Steven Doolan, reported the theft to police, his girlfriend called her father, Marc Ross, and notified him that the vehicle had been stolen.
He said Mr Ross and a friend had left the Pinjarra hotel and noticed the stolen vehicle travelling in the other direction on the South-Western Highway.
He had then followed the vehicle, gesticulating at the boys in the stolen car when he pulled alongside.
Mr Johnston said Mr Pickett, who was 16 at the time, told police that the car driven by Mr Ross had rammed the stolen Commodore up to three times.
He said an examination of the car driven by Mr Ross, about 12 hours later, did not reveal any damage to indicate a repeated ramming. But he said there were some marks which indicated contact between the cars.
Mr Johnston said Quentin's anxiety may have been heightened because he was being followed by Mr Ross, but the stolen vehicle had sped away and travelled up to 7km before the young driver lost control, indicating the pursuit did not have anything to do with the crash.
Mr Johnston said during the incident, a friend travelling with Mr Ross had called 000 and told police that they were "chasing" a stolen car.
Instead of dealing with the matter as an urgent call or telling the friend they should stop the chase, the man was put on hold for two minutes - during which time the stolen vehicle crashed.
When talking to police after the crash Mr Ross admitted following the stolen car but denied the allegation that he had rammed the vehicle.
Mr Johnston said other issues to be investigated during the inquest included significant concerns raised by Ms Clarke about when she was notified by police about her sons' death.
The medical treatment given to Mr Pickett would also be considered.The inquest continues.
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