Advertisements
<pre><pre>A horror accident in which mother and four children were killed, confused the police when the investigation was expanded

A horror car crash that killed a Queensland mother and her four children is now being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Advertisements

Charmaine Harris McLeod, 35, died instantly on Monday night when she was overtaking a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, Queensland.

Her children Aaleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4 and Zaidok, 2, also perished in the inferno three hours away from their home in Hervey Bay.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed the crash was 'absolutely' being investigated as a homicide.

Police are still working to find out why Charmaine McLeod and her four children (three pictured) were on the Bunya Highway on Monday night, where they all died in a horror crash

He said homicide detectives were working the case as 'there is a potential that there was an intention for someone to die'.

Advertisements

Police earlier found evidence at the scene which prompted specialist officers brought into the investigation, although it is not clear what was discovered.

There were no skid marks along the wrong side of the road where Ms. McLeod's car hurtled towards the truck that crushed it and killed everyone inside.

Police also couldn't work out where Ms. McLeod was heading when the accident occurred, as the car was traveling south along the highway, about three hours from home.

They believed the family were driving from the Bundaberg area, about 90 minutes north of Hervey Bay.

The five deaths have not yet been added to the state's road toll, and will not be if the crash is ruled a murder-suicide.

The father of the children and Ms. McLeod's ex-partner, James McLeod, said there were no friends or family who lived in that area, and he had no idea why they were there at the time of the crash.

Detectives say Ms. McLeod's car did not leave skidmarks on the highway, south of the turn to the Bunya mountains, toward Dalby. Pictured: The scene

Detectives say Ms. McLeod's car did not leave skidmarks on the highway, south of the turn to the Bunya mountains, toward Dalby. Pictured: The scene

Advertisements

Detectives say Ms. McLeod's car did not leave skidmarks on the highway, south of the turn to the Bunya mountains, toward Dalby. Pictured: The scene

Mr McLeod told Daily Mail Australia on Friday that there was a lot about the tragic accident which didn't add up, but he was waiting for the police to get to the bottom of it.

"Once the police investigation is done the story is going to explode again," Mr McLeod said.

"I just want to wait for the facts and the police are going to report the facts," he said.

Initial investigations showed the mother-of-four had tried to overtake a truck by driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into a second truck at high speed at about 7pm.

Advertisements

The truck Ms. McLeod slammed into also caught fire but the driver, a 47-year-old man, escaped the wreckage and was duties to hospital.

He suffered burns to his arms while heroically trying to free the family from the car as it was engulfed in flames.

Three of Ms. McLeod's children were unable to be rescued and died in the back seat of the family's station wagon, and a fourth child was rushed to hospital but died on the way.

Road Policing Command Superintendent Dave Johnson said he didn't know why the family were on the road at that time.

Charmaine Harris McLeod's children (left to right) Wyatt, 4, Aaleyn, 6, Zaidok, 2, and Matilda, 5, also perished in the proud crash, which took place three hours away from their home in Hervey Bay

Charmaine Harris McLeod's children (left to right) Wyatt, 4, Aaleyn, 6, Zaidok, 2, and Matilda, 5, also perished in the proud crash, which took place three hours away from their home in Hervey Bay

Advertisements

Charmaine Harris McLeod's children (left to right) Wyatt, 4, Aaleyn, 6, Zaidok, 2, and Matilda, 5, also perished in the proud crash, which took place three hours away from their home in Hervey Bay

Heartbroken father James McLeod (pictured with his children) on Wednesday recalled the last time he saw his children before the fatal accident, and said he was waiting for the police to reveal what had happened to his family

Heartbroken father James McLeod (pictured with his children) on Wednesday recalled the last time he saw his children before the fatal accident, and said he was waiting for the police to reveal what had happened to his family

Heartbroken father James McLeod (pictured with his children) on Wednesday recalled the last time he saw his children before the fatal accident, and said he was waiting for the police to reveal what had happened to his family

Supt. Johnson declined to go into detail on the case but revealed specialist detectives had been included in the investigation, and officers were keeping an "open mind" in their inquiries.

"There is a further investigation involving the positioning of the vehicle and why it was on the road at the time and where it was and what circumstances, if any, are known to police in relation to that matter," he said.

Advertisements

At this stage, the five deaths have not been added to the Queensland road toll.

"I understand that there is a range of investigators involved in that matter and we will look at all courses of action and all … avenues as to causal factors."

Mr McLeod on Wednesday recalled the last time he saw his children before the fatal accident.

The grieving father told The Courier-Mail it was the first time Zaidok told him he loved him.

'Young Zaidok – he was just a little adventurer. A loving and kind kid, "Mr. McLeod said.

'The last supervised visitation I had with them, not last Saturday but the Saturday beforehand, he actually said that he loves me, daddy, to me. Just out of the blue. "

Mr. McLeod said his youngest was "an amazing little boy" who was developing well.

He said all his children were 'beautiful souls' who were loved by everyone with at daycare, church, and school.

'Each of them had their own character. They weren't all the same, "he said.

A family picnic from 2017 with the four children and Ms. McLeod's former husband James and sister Katie

A family picnic from 2017 with the four children and Ms. McLeod's former husband James and sister Katie

Advertisements

A family picnic from 2017 with the four children and Ms. McLeod's former husband James and sister Katie

Emergency workers described the catastrophic crash and one of the worst scenes they had ever been to. Police have called in specialist detectives to investigate the circumstances of the crash

Emergency workers described the catastrophic crash and one of the worst scenes they had ever been to. Police have called in specialist detectives to investigate the circumstances of the crash

Emergency workers described the catastrophic crash and one of the worst scenes they had ever been to. Police have called in specialist detectives to investigate the circumstances of the crash

Just weeks before the family's tragic death, Ms. McLeod claimed she was abandoned by the church when she needed it most.

Ms. McLeod attended Bayside Christian Church in Hervey Bay every Sunday for 17 years until she abruptly left, and then explained why in a Facebook post last month.

Advertisements

"I feel as if, if you can't or don't God / healing etc, when they think you should have you just get left behind," she wrote.

The single mother said she asked for support after her marriage broke down in early 2018 but got 'very, very little'.

"They were always too busy, not one piece of clothing or a piece of bread was offered, let alone shelter … I feel like if I've done it alone," she wrote.

'These are the things Jesus did, he ate with the less fortunate. I've asked for prayer before surgery and yes I've had a lot of surgeries, but they don't – they do for others though. "

In the hours after Ms. McLeod's death, friends accused Bayside church or failing to help one of its members when she was 'crying out for help'.

Advertisements

"I hope your church reflects on this she is no longer here for you too help her or her children," one wrote.

However, the church insisted it did everything it could help and provided many hours of support whenever she needed it.

'People were in contact with Charmaine right up until last week. Our door was always open to Charmaine whenever she needed help and she new that, 'it replied.

'Unfortunately, peoples' lives and situations aren't always black and white. We were always reaching out to Charmaine and offering to help as much as she would allow us to. '

Ms McLeod's church, who she blasted in April for their lack of support, dedicated to the woman and wrote: "We will miss them all dearly," on its Facebook page

Ms McLeod's church, who she blasted in April for their lack of support, dedicated to the woman and wrote: "We will miss them all dearly," on its Facebook page

Ms McLeod's church, who she blasted in April for their lack of support, dedicated to the woman and wrote: "We will miss them all dearly," on its Facebook page

Charmaine McLeod, 35, died instantly on Monday night when she was overtaking a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, Queensland, along with her children (three pictured here). A 47-year-old truck driver escaped with minor injuries, but had burns to his arms

Charmaine McLeod, 35, died instantly on Monday night when she was overtaking a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, Queensland, along with her children (three pictured here). A 47-year-old truck driver escaped with minor injuries, but had burns to his arms

Charmaine McLeod, 35, died instantly on Monday night when she was overtaking a truck on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia, Queensland, along with her children (three pictured here). A 47-year-old truck driver escaped with minor injuries, but had burns to his arms

Bayside Church said Ms. McLeod was a personal friend of many church members who spent time with her during the week to give support.

"We organized professional counseling for her, which she was still regularly attending, we provided meals when needed, looked after her kids, prayed with her many times, visited her at home and the list goes on," it wrote.

'It's easy to say we could have done more, but we were honestly there for Charmaine when she needed us.

'We are all very sad and hurting with this tragic loss. Charmaine was a wonderful person with four incredible kids. '

Many of the tributes to Ms. McLeod that flooded social media on Tuesday and Wednesday highlighted the strong faith.

"Charmaine, you and your children brought so much joy and laughter to our Bayside church community, praying for your family in this difficult time," one wrote.

Ms McLeod volunteered for charity Youth in Search, which helped at-risk youth – several of whom paid tribute to her after her death.

A fundraiser set up by Ms. McLeod's sister Katie Harris to pay for funeral expenses has raised more than $ 7,000, with the rest to be donated to Youth in Search.

She and her husband moved out of the family home in Howard, west or Hervey Bay, last May and she sold many possessions through Facebook in the months afterwards.

"I've had no issues at all, only moving for family reasons," she wrote in a post advertising for someone to take over the lease.

Just a few days before the crash she was looking for painting classes in Hervey Bay and surrounds for her eldest daughter Ally.

The woman, 35, was driving at South Burnett, Queensland at 7.20pm when she pulled out to overtake a truck. Pictured: The wreckage of the truck

The woman, 35, was driving at South Burnett, Queensland at 7.20pm when she pulled out to overtake a truck. Pictured: The wreckage of the truck

The woman, 35, was driving at South Burnett, Queensland at 7.20pm when she pulled out to overtake a truck. Pictured: The wreckage of the truck

Police have tasks further evidence from the scene since the crash which has widened their investigation

Police have tasks further evidence from the scene since the crash which has widened their investigation

Police have tasks further evidence from the scene since the crash which has widened their investigation

Friends offered their love and support to Mr McLeod on social media in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"James McLeod I am here for you … sorry about your four angels," a friend wrote.

Friends and family flooded social media with their own tributes to the family, praising the selflessness in looking after the children.

"I've never seen a single mum let alone or four give up so much for their kids," a friend wrote.

'I can't believe what I've woken up to this never should've happened ** I'm in so much shock and pain, this is so f ** ked life is so unfair'.

Shocked and heartbroken friends in her hometown of Hervey Bay, Queensland, sent tributes in the hours after the catastrophic accident

Shocked and heartbroken friends in her hometown of Hervey Bay, Queensland, sent tributes in the hours after the catastrophic accident

Shocked and heartbroken friends in her hometown of Hervey Bay, Queensland, sent tributes in the hours after the catastrophic accident

"Those kids were something else I told you and lived like princes and princesses for their short lives they had but there was nothing materialistic to it they were just so happy and their happiness came before anything."

Another friend wrote: 'You were always there for me when I needed a friend and you always gave me the kick up the butt I needed. I miss you. "

"You will always be in my heart."

A neighbor, Gary Loweke, who used to mow the lawn for Ms. McLeod said they were a friendly family and the kids were often on the street playing hopscotch or riding their bikes.

"It's a bloody disaster … those four kids waved at us every day as we get used," Mr. Loweke said.

"Charmaine was friendly, she was really nice … she was very good with the kids. If she wasn't there, her sister would be there, but she was never far away from her family for long.

'They'll be greatly missed on the street, all the houses around there had young kids and they all used to play together.

'The littlest fella, hey used to just sit there and when he'd see you, he'd stand up where he was and give you the biggest wave. It's hard not seeing that. "

"Those kids were something else I told you and lived like princes and princesses for their short lives they had but there was nothing materialistic to it they were just so happy and loved and their happiness came before anything," a friend said

"Those kids were something else I told you and lived like princes and princesses for their short lives they had but there was nothing materialistic to it they were just so happy and loved and their happiness came before anything," a friend said

"Those kids were something else I told you and lived like princes and princesses for their short lives they had but there was nothing materialistic to it they were just so happy and loved and their happiness came before anything," a friend said

. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news