A source claimed a van that crashed in the early hours of the morning killing four people was being hunted after a drugs deal went wrong.
James Doherty, 41, Benjamin Watego, 47, and Sophie-Lee Fullagar, 24, died at the scene along with another passenger when their Mazda BT-50 vehicle left the road at Wardell, near Ballina, in northern New South Wales on February 24.
A passing motorist discovered the mangled remains on Back Channel Road about 5.45am and called emergency services.
A source close to the victims claims that Mr Doherty, who had previously dated Ms Fullagar, was a known drug dealer in the Bryon region, and that another car was chasing the ute to rob him.
“I know who was targeted, but I don’t want to say because I don’t want to get involved in the drama,” the source told Daily Mail Australia.
“He had drugs and cash.”
Sophie-Lee Fullagar (pictured) was among four people who died in the Wardell crash
A source close to the victims claims Mr Doherty (pictured), who previously dated Ms Fullagar, was a known drug dealer in the Bryon region, and that another car was chasing the ute to rob him.
Once the vehicle overturned and hit a tree, the source claims the other car sped away.
“I think the other car saw what happened but they drove away.
“After a crash like that they were never going to stop, especially when they were being chased.”
When Daily Mail Australia asked New South Wales Police if they were investigating a second person involved in the crash, a spokesperson said: “The matter is being investigated by detectives and a summary of evidence is being prepared for the coroner.” .
There has been great grief for the three identified victims.
A friend of Mr Watego wrote: ‘My brother, I will miss you very much.
‘You were by my side in the good times, the bad times and my lowest moments.
Benjamin Watego (pictured) was among the victims of the February 24 accident.
The crashed Mazda BT-50 ute is pictured on the back of a tow truck
‘I love you. Fly high my brother and I will see you when we arrive. You better be waiting with a rum.
A friend of Mr Doherty wrote: ‘Rip Jim Bob. I love you friend.
“Fly high until we meet again for a cold beer.”
Mrs Fullagar has been remembered for her “kind heart” and “lovely singing voice”.
“Rest in paradise you beautiful girl, absolutely heartbreaking,” one friend wrote.
Another said: ‘This is truly devastating! I always played and hung out with Sophie when we were in primary school together!’
‘This is devastating. I send my deepest condolences.
A friend of Mrs Fullagar’s family has created a GoFundMe to help support your loved ones as they grieve.
Mrs Fullagar (pictured) has been remembered for her “kind heart” and “lovely singing voice”.
‘We are asking the community for financial support to help Sophie-Lee’s family during this terrible time. Any help is greatly appreciated,” she said.
‘Sophie had the sweetest nature, the biggest heart and was very strong. She loved to sing and she had the most beautiful voice. Her smile and laugh were contagious.
“His family, friends and the surrounding community are suffering the ripple effects of such a terrible loss.”
More than $6,300 has been raised from 81 donors.