- Two toddlers were found dead in a car on Friday
- Hours later, a 19-year-old crashed into a tree and died
- Warning: This story has names and images of Aboriginal people who have died
- READ MORE: Tragic twist in the deaths of two boys
A small town has been rocked by three tragic deaths within 24 hours, after two toddlers died in a hot car and a 19-year-old crashed into a tree.
The family of two boys, aged two and three, were left reeling on Friday night when their lifeless bodies were pulled from an unused car in the backyard of a home in Woorabinda, southwest of Rockhampton.
Relatives found the younger child just before 8pm and called paramedics to take him to hospital. There was a rescue helicopter on standby, but he could not be revived.
Police were inspecting the car more than an hour later, at 9.15pm, when they found the three-year-old in the rear footwell. He was rushed to hospital but also declared dead.
The tragedy is still under investigation, but police believe the boys may have climbed into the vehicle, couldn’t get out, and died from ‘heat-related stress’.
On Sunday, family members paid tribute to the older boy by gathering all his favourite things, including stuffed toys and a blue blanket decorated with cartoon trucks.
Temperatures in Woorabinda hit 34°C on Saturday, but conditions inside vehicles can be up to 30 degrees warmer than outdoors.
The boys were not brothers, but they were related.
Investigations are ongoing, but Superintendent Darrin Shadlow said during a press conference on Saturday the car was unused and its electric systems, including the windows, did not work.
‘At this stage, we’re still conducting investigations. They hadn’t travelled in that vehicle – it was in the rear yard of the residence,’ Supt Shadlow said.
‘It appears that it’s a tragic accident where the children have, somehow, gotten into the vehicle and had been there for some time.’
A crime scene was declared and detectives are investigating the circumstances of the deaths.
About six hours after the toddlers bodies were found, 19-year-old Miriam Grace Kemp died when her car ploughed into a tree on Crane Avenue in Kawana, about two hours north-east.
She went to Rockhampton High School, but her family live in Woorabinda.
Daily Mail Australia understands the teenager was involved in an altercation with several others just before 3am on Saturday.
She jumped in a Holden Berlina with her friend, 17, and crashed into a tree.
The pair got out of the car and called an ambulance, but Miriam died from her injuries before they arrived.
Her friend was taken to Rockhampton Hospital but has since been discharged.
Locals were devastated over the triple-tragedy.
‘Heart aches for the whole community Woorabinda this is too sad waking up look straight on Facebook seeing all this,’ one person wrote on social media.
‘Woorabinda thinking of community too much lost.’
Another said: ‘Have no words just sending out some love to my people in Woorabinda feeling heartbroken.’