Teenager is charged over horrific car crash linked to mysterious death of 12-year-old boy – as police investigate links to dangerous TikTok trend
- Holden Barina, allegedly driven by 17-year-old, struck a traffic light at Towradgi
- Police then found a boy, aged 12, with serious injuries at a house in Balgownie
- He was treated by paramedics and transferred to Wollongong Hospital but died
A teenager has been charged and will face court after a 12-year-old boy died following a crash on the NSW south coast.
Wayne Russell, 12, was found seriously injured at a friend’s home in Balgownie, Wollongong, about 2am on Tuesday – just half an hour after a stolen Holden Barina smashed into a traffic light nearby and the occupants fled the scene.
He was treated by paramedics and transferred to Wollongong Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A crime scene was established at the home and an investigation by detectives traced links between the crash and the boy’s death, police say.
A boy, 17, was arrested at Goulburn Police Station on Friday and charged with six offences relating to the crash, including dangerous driving occasioning death.
Wayne Russell, 12, who described himself as a ‘Little Eshay’ online, died from horrific injuries in Wollongong on Tuesday night
He was refused bail and will appear in children’s court on Saturday.
Detectives are also looking into whether the crash is related to a dangerous TikTok trend called ‘creeping while you sleeping’ – where young Australians film themselves committing serious crimes including stealing cars and driving at high speeds.
TikTok has confirmed it would remove videos containing the hashtag along with others including #blackoutchallenge where users hold their breath until they pass out.
Daily Mail Australia can also reveal Wayne’s mother, Samantha Sebbens, nearly died after leading police on a high-speed alcohol-fuelled car chase six years ago.
Friends and family have flocked online to the 12-year-old, affectionately known as ‘Lil Wayne’.
‘Love you my brah … we will see you soon, love you soo much rest easy my soulja my cuzz, rest in paradise,’ the teen’s cousin Jamain Russell wrote.
‘We just need the closure right for what happen too you my little cuzz.’
Another cousin, Quiarnii Russell, posted ‘My heart is hurting, R.I.P little cuzzy taken way to soon. Our hearts are shattered,’ while Wayne’s aunt, Morgs Quirk wrote, ‘Rest easy in the dream time nephew. #forever12. RIP lil Wayne.’
Pictured: emergency services at the scene of the crash after a Holden Barina ploughed into a traffic light in Towradgi about 1.35am on Tuesday
Online, the boy referred to himself as ‘Wayne Little Eshay’ – referencing the urban youth subculture associated with crude language, rebelliousness, and eccentric clothing.
NSW Police are now investigating whether the Holden Barina crash, which happened around 1.35am, a three minute drive from Balgownie, is linked to the TikTok craze.
Police rushed to the scene after officers at nearby Corrimal Police Station heard the crash, but the vehicle was empty by the time they arrived.
‘We’d appeal for anyone that might have social media content that would cover the incidents that’s happened this morning to come forward,’ NSW Police Detective Acting Inspector Jason Hogan said.
‘We’re investigating all lines of inquiry and the social media line will be investigated too.’
Anyone with information is urged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.