Roadside tribute for horror smash victims
Family and friends gather at the roadside to pay tribute to the young lives lost in a horror weekend car crash near Lara.PT0M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2b4sp 620 349 December 10, 2012
The driver of a crashed car pleaded with his passengers to "stop playing" as they lay dead in mangled wreckage near Lara, a witness has revealed today.
Jacinta Bolling, who narrowly avoided the nightmare crash on Saturday morning, said the cries of the driver, who had five passengers on board, were terrible.
Guys wake up, is this a game? I don't want to play any more this isn't funny, I just want to stop playing this game.
The man's Subaru and a BMW driving the wrong way down the Princes Highway collided about 1am. Four people in his car and the driver of the BMW died at the scene.
"The driver who was behind the wheel started shouting and screaming," Ms Bolling said on radio station 3AW on Monday.
He was saying to them 'Guys wake up, is this a game? I don't want to play any more this isn't funny, I just want to stop playing this game'."
Ms Bolling came across the crash scene before emergency services, with the wreckage of the BMW on the left of the road and the Subaru on the right.
She described the scene as "eerie", and said her and her husband considered themselves fortunate to have avoided tragedy.
"We're just counting our lucky stars actually," she said.
Devastated friends and family of the five people killed have maintained a vigil at a makeshift roadside shrine at the site of the tragedy.
Investigators are still trying to piece together how the speeding BMW came to be driving erratically on the wrong side of the Princes Highway before ploughing head-on into the Subaru.
The driver and sole occupant of the BMW, Sarah Houlihan, and young mother Casey Valetic, 24, her best friend, Melissa Parry, 23, Nathan Kerr, 23, and Brad Dickson, 23, were all killed.
Ms Valetic was remembered by one friend as an outgoing, strong-minded woman who wore her heart on her sleeve.
''She's left behind her daughter Annabel and that's a piece of her she's left for us to treasure.''
A spokesperson for the family of Ms Houlihan, 32, said she was loved and respected.
''The family wish to express their sadness at this indescribable time for all involved and ask that all involved are given the time they need to grieve.
''Sarah was a loving, fun, caring and happy person. She was a respected natural health practitioner and teacher in her field. She was a qualified naturopath, homoeopath and nutritionist.''
Online tributes for Ms Houlihan continued to flow on Facebook on Sunday.
Assistant Commissioner Jack Blayney said a number of witnesses have come forward to say they saw the Ms Houlihan's car travelling on the wrong side of the freeway.
''Obviously we're looking for anybody else that may have seen this vehicle at an earlier stage, particularly on the wrong side of the freeway, to come forward to police so that we can actually piece this story together to get some clarity around what's happened,'' he said.
''Clearly something has drastically gone wrong here.''
Flowers are placed on Princes Highway. Photo: Joseph Feil
- with Benjamin Millar and Kristian Silva