The disturbing family past of 12-year-old Wayne Russell has emerged just days after the self-proclaimed ‘Little Eshay’ was killed in a mysterious car crash that investigators believe may be linked to a dangerous TikTok game.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Wayne’s mother, Samantha Sebbens, almost died after leading police on a high-speed chase in a drink-fuelled car six years ago.
Russell was found seriously injured at a friend’s home in Balgownie, Wollongong, about 2am on Tuesday – just half an hour after a stolen Holden Barina smashed into a nearby traffic light and the occupants fled the scene.
Emergency services were called and he was treated by paramedics before being taken to Wollongong Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A crime scene was established at the home, and police are investigating whether the child’s death is connected to the accident. No charges have yet been laid in connection with the incident.
Wayne Russell, 12, who described himself as a ‘Little Eshay’ online, died of horrific injuries in Wollongong on Tuesday night
Pictured: emergency services at the scene of the crash after a Holden Barina plowed into a traffic light in Towradgi at around 1.35am on Tuesday morning
Detectives are also investigating whether the incident is related to a dangerous TikTok trend called ‘creeping while you sleep’ – where young Australians film themselves committing serious crimes, including stealing cars and driving at high speeds.
Now Daily Mail Australia can reveal Ms Sebbens pleaded guilty to police pursuit and mid-range drink-driving in August 2016 after she was involved in an eerily similar collision where she collided head-on with another car.
In October 2015, Sebbens, now 35, was behind the wheel of a silver Ford Laser crossing through East Nowra when police noticed the vehicle being driven without headlights at around 8.49pm.
Officers attempted to stop the car for a random breath test, but despite police turning on their lights and sirens, the vehicle sped off, traveling at up to 105km/h in a 70km zone.
Court heard Sebbens ran several red lights, swerved between lanes and crossed on the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic to avoid being caught, according to the South Coast Register.
Police lined up cars to block her path to no avail, with one officer forced to jump out of the way as she narrowly missed the blockade.
At one point – as she led officers out of the CBD onto the motorway and then back into the city center – she pulled the handbrake, leaving a five-metre skid mark.
The pursuit only ended when she plowed head-on into a vehicle, leaving the 60-year-old female driver of the other car with minor injuries and herself with serious leg injuries.
Sebbens was taken to Shoalhaven District Hospital and later had a breath test of 0.08.
Samantha Sebbens (pictured) pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving and police pursuit after a head-on collision in 2015
Sebben’s crash was eerily similar to the accident that claimed her son’s life
After pleading guilty, she was given an 18-month good behavior bond and disqualified from driving for three years.
Meanwhile, her former partner, Wayne Russell senior, is a serial criminal who has served several stints in prison, with previous charges including breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods and assault.
On July 31, 2015, Russell, then 27, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being caught the day before with a stolen motorcycle and in possession of housebreaking tools.
The incident came just 40 days after he had been released on parole after serving a six-month sentence for theft.
The court heard a witness reported Russell to police after seeing him and a young man push two motorbikes into the back of a Wollongong property at around 7.50pm, the Illawarra Mercury reports.
The witness said he heard Russell instruct the younger man to ‘hurry up’ before the noise of the pair trying to start the bikes.
The witness said they later came out from the front of the property with only a bicycle and started walking away from the area.
Police tracked down the duo nearby and ordered them to stop, but Russell fled the scene before being apprehended by officers a short time later.
Wayne Russell (pictured) is a serial criminal who has previously been accused of theft
Sebbens in a selfie taken while sitting inside a car – she was involved in a crash after a police chase
A police officer discovered burglary tools, including wrenches and pliers, in Russell’s backpack.
The court heard that by then Russell had been charged with 62 offences, pleaded guilty to two charges and had been jailed for a year.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Sebbens or Russell were involved in the car crash earlier this week or their son’s death.
In the past seven years since, Russell has been brought before the courts for various offenses on more than 120 occasions.
What is the ‘creep while you sleep’ trend on Tiktok?
The trend sees young Australian TikTok users filming themselves committing crimes including burglary, burglary and speeding in stolen cars.
Using the hashtag #creepingwhileyousleeping, young people brazenly display their illegal behavior through the platform.
He is currently in custody after being refused bail in August when he was charged with assaulting a woman in the Illawarra region.
He has also been accused of breaching an apprehended violence order put in place to protect the same woman.
Meanwhile, friends and family have flocked online to pay tribute to his 12-year-old son, affectionately known as ‘Lil Wayne’.
“Love you my brah … see you soon love you so much rest in peace my soul my kuzz rest in paradise,” wrote the teenager’s cousin Jamain Russell.
‘We just need proper closure for what’s going on, you little cunt.’
Another cousin, Quiarnii Russell, wrote ‘My heart hurts, RIP little cuzzy taken far too soon. Our hearts are broken,” while Wayne’s aunt, Morgs Quirk wrote, “Rest in peace dreamtime nephew. #forever12. RIP lil Wayne.’
Online, the boy referred to himself as ‘Wayne Little Eshay’ – referring to the urban youth subculture associated with crude language, rebelliousness and eccentric clothing.
NSW Police are now investigating whether the Holden Barina crash, which happened about 1.35 a three minute drive from Balgownie, is associated with the TikTok craze.
Police rushed to the scene after officers at nearby Corrimal Police Station heard the crash, but the vehicle was empty when they arrived.
“We would appeal to anyone who may have social media content covering the incidents that occurred this morning to come forward,” NSW Police Detective Acting Inspector Jason Hogan said.
‘We are investigating all lines of inquiry and the social media line will also be investigated.’
Anyone with information is urged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.