Main Image: Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter with an ultrsound of their baby (Facebook: Matty Field). Listen: Ken and Nick talk with Kate’s aunt, Danielle Leadbetter.
To say Brisbane is heartbroken by the loss of a young family innocently walking their dogs in Alexandra Hills on Australia Day, would be an understatement.
There is understandably immense grief, as well as anger in the wider community as to how this tragedy eventuated, and whether it could have been prevented.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, Kate Leadbetter and her boyfriend Matthew Field, were walking their two dogs when they were struck by an allegedly stolen Toyota LandCruiser, which had run a red light at the intersection of Allenby and Finucane Roads, ploughed into a truck and rolled.
Despite the efforts of witnesses and first responders the couple and their unborn son died at the scene. Police have charged a 17 year old boy with two counts of murder, alongside a string of other offences, with police also preparing charges for the death of the couple’s unborn child. The 17-year-old of Waterford West, who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly fled the scene on foot following the crash before later being apprehended.
Danielle Leadbetter is Kate’s aunt, and told 96five’s Ken and Nicky that through this horrific loss that the family are resting on their faith.
“God is going to bring something beautiful out of this tragedy, because I believe that this is how my God works. Our family are Christians, Kate was saved, so please pray for peace for our family and that God’s will be done, because he tells us that he is a God that is just.”
Danielle has also asked people to remember the witnesses and astonishingly, the family of the 17 year old boy allegedly behind the wheel of the 4WD.
“There are a lot of traumatised people out there – I had the opportunity yesterday to thank the people that were first on the scene. They were ordinary mums and dads who have tried to offer aid and assistance in the devastation that is left behind. But I want us to also remember that this young man has a family too – he is someone’s son, his family is not responsible for the choices that he made himself.”
Today Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has questioned why the young man was out on bail, and has promised to look at tightening the laws if required.
“If there’s anything more that we can do to strengthen our laws we absolutely will, but at the middle of last year, we actually tightened the laws significantly. We said that there is a presumption against bail,” she told Nine’s Today program.
“So I want to know very clearly why the courts released this young man as well? We don’t have answers here that I want, and the community wants, and the families want.”
Despite the clear anger present in the community Ms Leadbetter has asked for calm, and that people get proactive in lobbying their representatives for changes to the youth justice system.
“There is a big difference between being angry and proactive – being proactive will bring about change, anger does nothing but make you bitter.”
Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd has appealed for information from anyone who witnessed the white LandCruiser driving in the Cleveland and Alexandra Hills area between 4pm and 5:20pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Police are also urging anyone with CCTV or dash-cam footage to check recordings between 4pm and 5.25pm, particularly leading up to or around the intersection of Vienna and Finucane Roads, to assist in piecing together the moments prior to the incidents.