Two teenage boys have died after their car burst into flames after hitting a tree on the Princes Freeway at Altona, in Melbourne’s south-west.
The driver was an 18-year-old from Yarraville, who had only had his driver’s licence for about a week.
The other boy, 16, was from Altona North. They were travelling with two other vehicles to Lake Eildon for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
They missed the turn-off for the Western Ring Road and the passenger was on the phone to his friends in one of the other cars getting instructions on how to get back onto the freeway, when the car crashed into the tree and erupted in flames.
The accident happened on the Princes Freeway between Doherts Road and Kororoit Creek Road at Altona just after 11:00pm.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer, from the Road Policing Command, said the deaths were an absolute tragedy.
“I don’t know how those other young kids [in the other cars] will get past this,” he said.
“How a family reconcile the loss of a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old boy is beyond me.”
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Assistant Commissioner Fryer said distraction and inexperience probably contributed to the crash.
“That’s a relatively complicated intersection, particularly if you miss the turn,” he said.