A teenager has admitted to causing the deaths of five students when his vehicle slammed into two trees in Sydney.
Tyrell Edwards, 19, pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death at Picton Local Court on Thursday after the high-speed tragedy at Buxton on September 6, 2022.
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Edwards was behind the wheel of a silver Nissan Navara that crashed into two trees, killing five Picton High School students aged between 14 and 16 who were crammed into the vehicle.
Antonio Desisto, Summer Williams, Gabby McLennan, Lily Van De Putte and Tyrese Bechard all died at the scene.
Edwards was the sole survivor of the crash. He suffered minor injuries.
Tyrell Edwards was charged over the fatal Buxton car crash. Credit: SuppliedThe victims were Lily Van De Putte and Gabby McLennan, both 14, Summer Williams and Tyrese Bechard, both 15, and Antonio Desisto, 16. Credit: Supplied
“The aggravated dangerous driving was particularly egregious in that it was dangerous driving repeated over a period of time ultimately leading to the loss of control of the vehicle,” Magistrate David Degnan said on Thursday.
He described the event as a “tragic incident”, acknowledging the pain of family members in court.
“I’m cognisant of the fact there are many members of the victims’ families and friends here at court and I acknowledge the loss that they have suffered.”
Five lesser charges of dangerous driving occasioning death were withdrawn.
After the guilty pleas, Edwards’ solicitor Karen Watson opposed a prosecution application to revoke bail but was unsuccessful.
Watson had argued Edwards needed to remain out of jail to undergo psychiatric treatment for PTSD and major depressive disorder caused by the crash.
Edwards was taken into custody on Thursday. Credit: AAP
Degnan ruled this did not amount to special or exceptional circumstances which could allow Edwards to stay out on bail, given he would definitely face a full-time prison sentence.
The courtroom was then closed and victims’ family asked to leave before Edwards was escorted to a waiting police vehicle.
Outside court, Lily’s father John Van De Putte said he and the other parents could not move forwards with their lives and were living that tragic day over and over again.
“I wake up every morning thinking about her and go to sleep thinking about her. It’s going to be in my mind every day,” he said.
“It’s something we will never get over.”
Van De Putte said traffic laws needed to be tougher and parents needed to speak to their kids about safety behind the wheel.
The case has now been committed for sentence proceedings in Campbelltown District Court on August 24.