Two teenagers killed while riding dirt bikes likely crashed into each other due to poor lighting conditions, neighbors say.
Zena Houli, 18, and her cousin Ali Elhouli, 17, crashed head-on while driving to their uncle Omar’s house on Beattys Rd in Grangefields, north-west Melbourne at around 6.35pm on Sunday.
About 50 family members and friends had gathered at the house to celebrate the 5th anniversary and Father’s Day.
Zena’s father, also named Ali, heard the accident and rushed to the scene on a quad bike, but was seriously injured after hitting a traffic sign.
Her brother Omar, owner of the Beatty Rd property, said his brother’s main concern while injured was his daughter’s welfare.
“He was like, ‘Brother, where’s Zena?! Where’s Zena?!” Omar told 7News.
‘(Ali said) make sure she’s okay. I was like, “Yeah, no, she’s fine bro.”
“I couldn’t tell him…I couldn’t tell him.”
Zena Houli, 18, pictured alongside her father Ali and mother Michelle
Ali Elhouli, 17 (pictured) was killed when his bicycle collided with that of his cousin Zena during the family party on Sunday evening
Neighbor Tom Pandza said the children weren’t riding dangerously as they cycled out for a spin on the secluded rural road that runs along the front perimeter of the property.
The bikes, which police said were unregistered, were not fitted with headlights and there are no street lights in the neighborhood.
Mr Pandza said darkness was the real danger, rather than any dangerous driving.
Zena, of Altona Meadows, died at the scene, while Ali was rushed to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Two boys, aged 11 and 6, were also rushed to hospital in critical condition but are now stable. It is understood that they each suffered several broken bones.
Police have yet to determine if the boys were passengers or observers or if any of those involved in the crash were wearing a helmet.
The boys and Ali Houli, 43, remained in hospital on Monday night, where the father is being treated for upper and lower body injuries.
As the trio continue to recover, Zena’s mother Michelle paid tribute to her “beautiful daughter” on Tuesday.
Pictured: Debris strewn on Beattys Road, Grangefields, after the fatal bicycle collision
Two teenagers have died and two children are hospitalized following an accident involving dirt bikes in north-west Melbourne.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Michelle described Zena as kind, loving and caring and said she would do anything to make people happy and smiling.
Michelle said she wanted her daughter to be remembered as a “brilliant beam of light” who was a “pure angel inside and out”.
“Zena touched many lives with her beautiful soul,” she said.
“She really was a beautiful girl. She really brightened up a room. She left an impression on all who had the pleasure of knowing or meeting her.
Michelle said her baby girl was ‘taken too soon’ and asked that Allah grant her Jannah – as the Islamic word for heaven – in paradise.
“(She will always be) forever missed and never forgotten.”
Meanwhile, the Major Collision Investigation Unit is investigating the crash, but police say the exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined.
Senior Detective Sergeant Paul Lineham said family members at the party have so far failed to cooperate with police investigations.
Omar El Houli (pictured) said his nephew and niece were ‘good kids’
“We don’t know how the two children were injured,” he said.
“It is extremely difficult for the police to do their job when people do not provide details.
“The bikes aren’t registered, they don’t have a license. They are in no way suitable for the road. This is a recipe for disaster.’
Detective Sergeant Paul Lineham urged anyone who witnessed the accident to contact the police.
“We are calling on the family to come forward regardless of their feelings about the police,” he said.
On Monday, Omar El Houli told reporters he was driving down the road with other family members when they arrived at the scene of the crash.
“My niece was dead on the floor and my nephew was also on the floor,” he said.
“I wanted to see who they were, it was my farm. I saw the motorcycles, I saw them, they were on the ground.
“I couldn’t imagine anything worse than what happened.”
Omar said the teens were family oriented and enjoyed spending time with loved ones.
“They just liked being happy, they liked being together, they just enjoyed life,” he said.
Zena (pictured) was a ‘pure angel’, who ‘touched the lives of many people’, her mother Michelle said.
Tributes started pouring in online for the two teenagers. Pictured: Ali Elhouli (left)
“They are beautiful children with beautiful parents, it’s unfortunate what happened.
“They are in heaven looking down on us now.”
As police continue to investigate the circumstances of the accident, grieving relatives have also taken on online trolls.
Fatima, Ali’s devastated older sister, hit back at a social media user on Monday who said “dirt bikes on the roads don’t mix” and that incidents such as this tragedy “give a bad reputation to motorcyclists”.
“Stop your nonsensical comments,” Fatima said.
“They were just kids having fun and being responsible.
“No one knows when (his) time has come. Keep your nasty comments to yourself.
Any witnesses or anyone with a dashcam, CCTV footage or information about the accident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.