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Rising star footy player dies at just 18

<p>Rising football star Nick Campo has tragically died just two days after his 18th birthday. </p> <p>The South Fremantle player was in the backseat of a ute when it crashed and rolled just before midnight in Perth, before the ute smashed into an oncoming SUV. </p> <p>Two of Campo's teammates, Tyler Rowe and Josh Jackson, were also in the ute and were taken to hospital with injuries. </p> <p>Cameron Britt, CEO of South Fremantle, said the club was in "deep shock" following the sudden tragedy.</p> <p>"South Fremantle Football Club is deeply saddened by news of a car accident overnight involving several of our Colts players, resulting in the tragic death of South Fremantle footballer Nick Campo," he said.</p> <p>"We are a club in deep shock, focused upon supporting our players, staff and their families in these tragic circumstances."</p> <p>Campo's parents have also shared their heartbreak following the accident, saying their lives had been "ripped apart" by the sudden loss. </p> <p>"In the early hours of this morning our beautiful son Nick passed away after he was involved in a tragic car accident," they said on Facebook.</p> <p>"Our lives have been ripped apart, 18 years old, a future with so much hope taken away, we are praying others in the car involved will be ok."</p> <p>In Kalgoorlie, where Campo spent his childhood, his former club described him as "a popular friend to many" with a "life full of promise that was taken way too soon".</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine </em></p>

Caring

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Just 15 centimetres of water can float a car – but we are failing to educate drivers about the dangers of floodwaters

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828"><em>Griffith University</em></a></em></p> <p>Every year in Australia, people driving into floodwaters drown and many more are <a href="https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/disaster-tabs-header/flood/">rescued</a>. Do <em>you</em> know what to do when there’s water on the road?</p> <p>We searched all state and territory learner and driver handbooks for information about floodwaters, including signage. Our findings, published in the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437524000860?via%3Dihub">Journal of Safety Research</a>, are disturbing.</p> <p>Across half of Australia’s states and territories, the driver handbook ignores flooding. That’s a missed opportunity, considering the handbook contains road rules and provides advice on how to navigate safely. While some states fail to provide any flood-related information, others give detailed practical guidance. Only the New South Wales handbook includes explanation of the meaning and purpose of flood signage.</p> <p>This is despite almost all states and territories experiencing vehicle-related flood <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jfr3.12616">deaths</a>, including <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">drowning</a>, between 2001 and 2017. It’s a major problem that is only going to get worse as the climate changes. So our research shows driver education needs to come up to speed, fast.</p> <h2>Why do people drive into floodwaters?</h2> <p>Our previous <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212420918301869">research</a> revealed motorists can feel compelled to drive into floodwaters for a range of reasons. These include time pressures such as being late for work or school, or needing to get home to family or pets. Sometimes they feel pressured by their passengers, or motorists behind them on the road, urging them to cross.</p> <p>People also report having been encouraged or instructed as learners to drive into floodwaters. Past experience as a passenger also influences a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369847823000475">learner driver’s</a> future willingness to drive into floodwaters.</p> <p>So the views of significant others, such as their supervising driver, strongly influence decisions around driving into floodwaters.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZtlXpDBjU1Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Avoid driving into floodwaters, for life’s sake.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What we did and what we found</h2> <p>We assessed all publicly available, government-issued learner and driver handbooks (12 documents) across all six Australian states and two territories. We also looked for flood-related signage. We used a method for reviewing online material through a systematic search including in-document key words and imagery.</p> <p>Four jurisdictions provided no information on flooding in the handbook. In the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, drivers need to look elsewhere for information on floodwaters and driving safety.</p> <p>Only one jurisdiction provided information on flood signage such as depth markers and “road subject to flooding”. Hats off to the <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-11/Road-User-Handbook-English.pdf">NSW Road User Handbook</a>, which warns:</p> <blockquote> <p>Floodwater is extremely dangerous. Find another way or wait until the road is clear. It’s safer to turn around than to drive in floodwater.</p> </blockquote> <p>For the states and territories that did provide information on floodwaters in the handbook, the content varied.</p> <p>NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory warned against entering floodwaters in a vehicle. They highlighted the dangers and financial penalties associated with driving on closed roads.</p> <p>In the NT and Western Australia, handbooks provided practical information on when and how to cross floodwaters safely, such as how to gauge safe water depth based on vehicle size, and to avoid fast-flowing water.</p> <p>Although well-intentioned, judgements around what constitutes fast-flowing water are subjective and hard for any driver to assess, let alone learner drivers. Even drivers of larger vehicles such as four-wheel drives are regularly involved in flood-related <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">vehicle drowning fatalities</a>.</p> <p>Just <a href="https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/news-and-media/campaigns/15-to-float">45cm</a> of water can float a large 4WD, and considerably less for smaller vehicles.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t4ilUbMXZAQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">A small car can float in just 15cm of water.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Handbooks represent valuable sources of safety information, particularly for new drivers who must learn important road rules to progress from one licence to another. Such graduated driver licensing schemes reduce road traffic injury, particularly among <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437523000385">young people</a>.</p> <p>However, many of these handbooks fail to provide consistent, practical evidence-based information about flooding. There is an opportunity here to support safer driving behaviours.</p> <h2>Safety tips for all drivers</h2> <p>We encourage drivers to follow these safety tips:</p> <ul> <li>avoid driving into floodwaters</li> <li>identify alternative routes, so you have a <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-roads-become-rivers-forming-a-plan-b-can-stop-people-driving-into-floodwaters-183036">plan B</a></li> <li>familiarise yourself, and any learner drivers in the household or under your care, with the meaning and purpose of flood signage</li> <li>understand the legal consequences of crossing a road closed sign</li> <li>discuss the dangers of driving into floodwaters with learner drivers and help them formulate their own plan B</li> <li>model safe driving for all passengers, including children.</li> </ul> <h2>Time to lift our game</h2> <p>Driving into floodwaters remains the main cause of <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">flood-related drowning</a> in Australia.</p> <p>For our emergency service personnel, driver behaviour, including people ignoring road closed signs, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hpja.181">significantly complicates</a> the already dangerous act of performing a flood rescue.</p> <p>Extreme weather and flooding are likely to become more frequent and intense in the future. That means the chance of being faced with a flooded road is growing. So information about driving during floods is vital for all, from the newly licensed to the experienced driver.</p> <p>We hope our research will encourage all states and territories to include provide practical, evidence-based advice on floods in driver handbooks as soon as possible.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233116/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, NHMRC Research Fellow, School of Population Health &amp; co-founder UNSW Beach Safety Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, Associate Professor in Applied Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/just-15-centimetres-of-water-can-float-a-car-but-we-are-failing-to-educate-drivers-about-the-dangers-of-floodwaters-233116">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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What the fox! Driver finds wild animal trapped in his car

<p>A motorist has shared the startling moment a fox got trapped in the front grill of his car, after he accidentally hit the wild animal while travelling at 80km/h. </p> <p>While driving down a country road in South Australia on Saturday night, the man behind the wheel said he was shocked when he felt something slam into the car. </p> <p>When he later checked the vehicle, he was astonished to find the angry fox trying to break free from behind the front grill of the car. </p> <p>“Y’all thought you had a bad day,” he can be heard saying while filming the animal furiously biting the front grill in an attempt to escape.</p> <p>In a series of videos posted to TikTok, the man documented the fox's attempts at escape, before informing his followers that he had enlisted the help of a local vet to help free the animal. </p> <p>“Took him to the vet, they sedated him and we got him out safely, the poor guy,” he said, adding he was glad — and impressed — the fox was alive after such a high-speed impact.</p> <p>Throughout his videos, many took to the comments to offer their advice to free the fox, as one person suggested "popping the lid", with the driver explaining that he did but “couldn’t even see him through the bonnet”.</p> <p>The saga has been viewed more than 400,000 times in the past 24 hours, with numerous people saying they were stunned the fox wasn’t seriously injured. “How does this even happen?” one person wondered.</p> <p>“What in the fox is going on here!” another joked, while others pondered how the man would explain the incident to his insurance company.</p> <p>“Insurance would never believe you if you didn’t have that video,” someone else added.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Wild moment giraffe snatches toddler from car

<p>A father has recalled the heart-stopping moment his toddler was snatched by a giraffe at a safari park in Texas. </p> <p>Jason Toten, 24, his fiancé Sierra Robert, 23, and their daughter Paisley were at Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre in Glen Rose where visitors can drive-through the park and get close to wild animals. </p> <p>"We were having a little family day, just getting out of the house," Jason told a local news outlet. </p> <p>While the family were admiring the view, one giraffe slowly approached them and the pair encouraged their daughter to offer it some food, but within an instant, the two-year-old girl was lifted into the air.</p> <p>"I looked out the back window and I saw the giraffe … and then up she went," Jason recalled. </p> <p>The giraffe, who was only trying to grab the bag of food from Paisley, accidentally hoisted the toddler up by her shirt, with other park visitors behind them capturing the wild moment. </p> <p>Sierra reacted immediately and clung to her child, as she was pulled into the air, and all it took for the giraffe to let go was a stern "hey". </p> <p>The giraffe then dropped the tot back into the car uninjured, and throughout the entire ordeal Paisley was the bravest of them all. </p> <p>"I guess it startled the giraffe. She wasn't even scared," Jason recalled. </p> <p>"As soon as her mom caught her, she went 'oh.'" </p> <p>"It scared me but after it was all over, we realised everyone was safe and unharmed, and we laughed about it," Jason added. </p> <p>After the incident, the family took Paisley to the gift shop and "all she wanted was a giraffe toy and a giraffe T-shirt."</p> <p>"We ended up getting her both, we figured she deserved it."</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Quiet beach town offering $450k job with free house and car

<p>A picturesque beach town in Western Australia has found a creative way to bring jobs to the area: by offering a range of enticing bonuses. </p> <p>The town of Bremer Bay, south-east of Perth, is desperate for healthcare providers to join the small town and have offered a range of persuasive perks to a doctor who would be willing to leave a big city for the job in the regional location. </p> <p>Bremer Bay is next to the Fitzgerald River National Park and nearly 40 minutes away from the closest town. Currently, they only have one temporary doctor; the next permanent GP is in Albany, almost 200 kilometres away, and the town is looking for the "Swiss army knife of doctors" to step up.</p> <p>According to the job listing on Seek, the successful applicant will be granted a rent-free five-bedroom house and a four-wheel drive, on top of a salary of up to $450,000 a year.</p> <p>"Live rent-free in a scenic location, experiencing the true essence of rural Australia," the advertisement reads.</p> <p>"We offer a competitive 70 per cent of Billings or a generous Salary, based on your preference. In addition, you'll enjoy the convenience of a beautiful new 5-bedroom home and 4X4."</p> <p>Applicants must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be willing to train as a rural generalist.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a>, people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, deaths and injury compared to city-dwellers, while also having poorer access to primary health care services.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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'Boomer' cyclist allegedly caught keying cars

<p>A baby boomer on a bicycle has allegedly been caught red-handed by CCTV footage, which reportedly shows the man keying a series of cars. </p> <p>Residents of the affluent Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba have been terrorised by the anonymous car-keyer since September of last year. </p> <p>Mick Brown, who lives in the area, checked local CCTV cameras after his car had been keyed on September 29th, to try to identify the culprit.</p> <p>The footage showed what Mr Brown described as a “regular, well-dressed elderly man” cycling down Hubert Street.</p> <p>The man then turned around and cycled past 30 seconds later with one arm extended toward the parked cars with something attached to a red lanyard in his hand.</p> <p>Mr Brown told the <em><a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=CMWEB_WRE170_a_NEW&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.couriermail.com.au%2Fnews%2Fqueensland%2Fwoolloongabba-resident-claims-cars-repeatedly-targeted-by-man-on-bike-with-keys-over-period-of-months%2Fnews-story%2Fd6ca80fcd103ff0eaae3bc02e33e8fb4&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&v21=LOW-Segment-1-SCORE&nk=5bc945873ffec79da7263488711d2aab-1715304777" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courier Mail</a></em>, “This act cost myself and the owner of the other two vehicles in excess of $10,000 in repairs.”</p> <p>“After repairs were completed on all three vehicles this same person has struck again on Saturday, December 30 (2023),” he said.</p> <p>After being struck by the cyclist three times and paying over $10,000 to fix the cars, Mr Brown said his car was targeted again on May 5th. </p> <p>"These attacks are happening in broad daylight,” he said. “While these appear to be targeted attacks neither myself nor the other victim know or recognise this person."</p> <p>“It is becoming quite distressing and this individual needs to be stopped.”</p> <p>The cyclist has yet to be identified, and no charges have been laid. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Courier Mail </em></p>

Legal

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Woman fined after paid car park gets set up around her parked vehicle

<p>Josephine Williams had been leaving her car in a gravel clearing at Westgate in Auckland, alongside other commuters to catch the bus into the city for months. </p> <p>The New Zealand woman was left with a "nasty surprise" when she returned from work on Monday to find a NZ $85 ($77) fine sitting on her windshield. </p> <p>"To my unfortunate surprise - and many others - I was greeted by an $85 parking ticket for a breach and a flyer from Wilson Parking saying paid parking had started that day," Williams told <em>Stuff</em>.</p> <p>"But what breach exactly was made? How was I supposed to know paid parking started that day when there was nothing at all displayed anywhere in the car park?"</p> <p>Williams claimed that the Wilson Parking car park had been set up around her already parked car, even providing dash cam footage that showed her pulling into the gravel clearing at 7.45am, with no paid parking signs or Wilson branding in sight. </p> <p>By 6pm, a large red and white Wilson sign had been put up at the entrance, with "12 hours for $4" written on it. </p> <p>"Wilson deliberately put their sign up sometime after 9am and then took it upon themselves to fine every single car that was already parked there from the morning," Williams said.</p> <p>"$85 is a lot of money - it would have been two weeks' worth of grocery shopping for me," she added. </p> <p>"I'm lucky that I know the law and my rights, but some other people might not. What about students or the elderly or people who don't know English well?"</p> <p>She estimated that there was usually around 50 and 100 cars in the gravel clearing. </p> <p>Wilson argued that the carpark was always there and they had just added more signage, but have since waived Williams' fine after she lodged a request to have it reviewed by Parking Enforcement Services. </p> <p>Wilson Parking also said that they had started to set up the car park and installed a "clear signage" on April 22. </p> <p>"It was not set up around parked cars on 29 April as suggested," a Wilson spokesperson said.</p> <p>"Several payments were made by customers via the Parkmate app from 22 April proving that signage on the site was clear and effective," they said.</p> <p>They added that on April 29 more signs were added to all entry points of the car park. </p> <p>"In acknowledgment of the increased signage added on the 29th at the entry we've made the decision to refund all payments made until 30 April and waive any breach notices issued up to this date."</p> <p>They also denied issuing any breach notices before the signs were put up.</p> <p>"Payment options were available and signed from 22 April - but no infringement notices were issued prior to the 29th."</p> <p><em>Images: Stuff</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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"Find that car": Mother of fallen young lawyer speaks out

<p>Mitch East, a vibrant 28-year-old lawyer from New Zealand, lost his life on Sunday in an alleged hit-and-run accident that has sparked a desperate plea from his grieving mother and a heartfelt outcry from those who knew him.</p> <p>Debra East, now in Sydney to grapple with the unimaginable loss of her only child, stood on the roadside where Mitch's life was abruptly taken away. In an emotional <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/find-that-car-mother-of-lawyer-mitch-east-killed-in-sydney-hit-and-run-shares-desperate-plea-as-tributes-flow-c-14013341" target="_blank" rel="noopener">interview with 7NEWS</a>, she expressed her shattered state, saying, "I'm broken. He was my only child... I died too, on Sunday, with him."</p> <p>The pain of a mother losing her child in such a sudden and senseless manner is unfathomable, and her plea to find the perpetrator echoes through the community.</p> <p>Mitch's untimely demise occurred as he stepped out of an Uber onto Fletcher St, just metres away from his home, in the early hours of the morning. It is believed that he was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/police-investigate-after-young-lawyer-killed-in-cowardly-act" target="_blank" rel="noopener">struck by a car</a>, leaving him with critical injuries that tragically proved fatal. Despite the efforts of emergency responders, Mitch passed away at the scene.</p> <p>The circumstances surrounding Mitch's death point to a hit-and-run incident, with CCTV footage capturing <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/police-investigate-after-young-lawyer-killed-in-cowardly-act" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a white Subaru</a> driving on the street shortly after the accident.</p> <p>Debra East, grappling with grief and disbelief, voiced her anguish, questioning how the driver could have failed to see her son and pleading for assistance in locating the vehicle.</p> <p>“I got up early hours of the morning today and stood on the side of the road to try to understand how they couldn’t have seen him as they were driving up," she said. “I just need you to help the police find that car. Not that it will bring him back to me.”</p> <p>NSW Police Inspector Josh Hogan condemned the act as cowardly, urging the driver to come forward and take responsibility for their actions.</p> <p>Anyone with information about the death is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</p> <p><em>Images: GoFundMe | NSW Police</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Heartless theft from "Garden of Little Angels"

<p>In a despicable act of heartlessness, dozens of bronze plaques dedicated to children have been stolen from a memorial park in Melbourne's southwest. The theft not only deprives grieving families of precious mementos but also desecrates a sacred space meant to honour the memory of lost loved ones.</p> <p>Victoria police were alerted to the crime when it was discovered that 75 plaques had been taken from Altona Memorial Park on Doherty’s Road. These plaques, erected in the "Garden of Little Angels", were loving tributes from families who had lost children, serving as symbols of remembrance and healing for those who visit the park.</p> <p>The theft, which occurred sometime between March 12 and 13, has left the community shocked and appalled. It is a violation not only of property but of the sanctity of a space meant for solace and reflection. The perpetrators have callously disregarded the pain of grieving families and the significance of the memorial to the community.</p> <p>In response to this reprehensible act, detectives have issued a warning to scrap metal dealers in the area to remain vigilant against any attempts to sell the stolen plaques. These plaques, though they may hold some monetary value as scrap metal, are priceless to the families who placed them in the memorial park, with their sentimental worth far outweighing any material gain.</p> <p>The police are actively investigating the theft and are urging anyone with information to come forward. The return of the stolen plaques to their rightful place is paramount in restoring a sense of peace and closure to the families affected by this crime.</p> <p><em>Images: Altona Memorial Park</em></p>

Legal

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Police seize suspect's car in Samantha Murphy investigation

<p>Detectives looking into Samantha Murphy's alleged murder have seized a car as part of their investigation. </p> <p>Police have reportedly been watching accused killer Patrick Stephenson for two weeks prior to his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-details-emerge-in-samantha-murphy-murder-charge" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrest</a> on Wednesday, according to <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>They also reportedly seized Stephenson's 4WD as part of a probe into whether or not the Ballarat mum was hit by his car. </p> <p>Speaking to <em>The Herald Sun</em>, one neighbour recalled the moment police swarmed a Scotsburn home that Stephenson and his partner were reportedly house-sitting at on Wednesday morning. </p> <p>“There were all sorts of cars, they all looked like unmarked police,” the neighbour said.</p> <p>“It was about 6.30am when I went past… I put two and two together and I said to my wife: ‘I reckon something’s going on, I reckon they were police’.</p> <p>“And sure enough, later that day (the news of an arrest) was released.”</p> <p>Despite his arrest and murder charge, the 22-year-old, who is <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/everything-we-know-about-samantha-murphy-s-accused-killer" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the son of retired AFL player Orren Stephenson</a>, is not cooperating with police as they continue to search for Murphy's body. </p> <p>Murphy's family have shared a desperate plea as they continue to search for answers. </p> <p>“We are hoping he has a bit of a change of heart and that he will co-operate. That will help bring her home,” Murphy's husband, Mick, said on Friday.</p> <p>“We’d just like some more answers now.”</p> <p>Stephenson is due to face a committal mention on August 8.</p> <p><em>Images: 7News/ Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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"Cruel" shopper slammed for leaving dog in hot car

<p>A woman has been slammed on social media for allegedly leaving her dog in an unattended car for 40 minutes on a hot day. </p> <p>The incident occurred at Warringah Mall in Sydney's north on Monday, when temperatures reached up to 28 degrees.</p> <p>Claire, claimed the dog-owner pulled up next to her in an undercover car park, and then watched the woman leave her pet locked in an unattended car while she shopped. </p> <p>"Myself and my mother waited till she got back," she told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>. </p> <p>"It was around 3.15pm and she didn’t come back till just before 4pm".</p> <p>During that time, Claire said she called security, who attempted to contact the owner via a mobile number on the dog's harness. She also tried calling the RSPCA and police but claimed that not much could be done.</p> <p>When the owner finally returned, Claire questioned her about leaving the "panting and drooling" animal unattended, but the woman reportedly  just "laughed and scoffed" before "driving away as quick as possible".</p> <p>Claire shared photos of the pup on Facebook  and criticised the owner, for her "absolute irresponsibility and disgusting behaviour", calling her an "absolute d**khead". </p> <p> "People like you should not own animals," she wrote. </p> <p>While many agreed that the woman's actions were "absolutely awful," a few others argued the act was fine as the car was undercover and "the dog doesn't look hot and distressed at all."</p> <p>Another person who claimed to know the owner, said that the woman's car "has an aircon function which allows the air-conditioning to run when the engine is not running" and the pet is generally "very spoiled and happy". </p> <p>A few others disagreed, and said that the act was "cruel" and "simply disgusting" regardless. </p> <p>"Undercover or not you don't lock a baby in a car, you don't lock an animal in a car ... no excuse," one wrote.</p> <p>An RSPCA spokesperson has also spoken out and said that leaving a dog inside a car unattended is "always dangerous" no matter the location or the temperature outside. </p> <p>They said that even on mild days, temperatures in a car can "rapidly heat up" and can reach "double" the outside temperature.</p> <p>"When it’s 22 degrees Celsius outside, the inside of a car can reach a stifling 47 degrees and this is no environment for a dog," the spokesperson said.</p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Why Mr Bean is being blamed for decreasing electric vehicle sales

<p>Rowan Atkinson has been blamed for a decrease in electric car sales, with a "damaging" article being debunked in the House of Lords. </p> <p>The actor and comedian, who is also a well-known car enthusiast, wrote an article for <em>The Guardian</em>, claiming he felt "duped" by electric vehicles, saying they aren't as eco-friendly as they are often portrayed. </p> <p>Atkinson says the problem with the vehicles' sustainable marketing focuses on just one part of the car’s operating life: what comes out of the exhaust pipes and ignores other elements such as the manufacturing and the mining of rare earth minerals, shipping and building of the batteries.</p> <p>These claims, and the article itself, have been addressed by the UK's House of Lords, with politicians blaming the story for a decrease in electric vehicle sales. </p> <p>UK think tank the Green Alliance says, “One of the most damaging articles was a comment piece written by Rowan Atkinson in The Guardian which has been roundly debunked.”</p> <p>Other deterrents identified by the committee were the high purchase price and insufficient charging infrastructure.</p> <p>Social media users were quick to take Atkinson's side in the debate, with one person writing on X, “If Rowan Atkinson is responsible, then give him a knighthood.”</p> <p>Another user says, “Rowan Atkinson with a degree and masters in Engineering. Knows more than those pushing electric cars.”</p> <p>"Apparently it's Mr Bean's fault for the poor take up of electric cars. Cancel him," another said.</p> <p>For the last 12 months, high power costs in the UK have meant that fast charging your electric car can be more expensive than refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle.</p> <p>The UK is planning to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035, despite the slip in sales. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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"Such a tragedy": Shannon Noll pulls dying teen from car wreck

<p>Singer Shannon Noll ha found himself at the centre of a tragic accident on a remote stretch of Ellangowan Road, just kilometres away from his northern New South Wales home. The incident involved an 18-year-old couple, Kobi Roberts-Walker and Jaselle Melrose, whose car veered off the road, crashing into a tree in a horrifying double fatal accident.</p> <p>Noll, best known for his time on <em>Australian Idol</em>, was on his way back to his family property when he became one of the first responders to the accident. The singer, faced with a burning car and desperate circumstances, didn't hesitate to take action. He bravely dragged the dying Jaselle Melrose from the wreckage and performed CPR in an attempt to save her life.</p> <p>In a statement to <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/two-teenagers-die-in-fiery-crash-after-hitting-tree/news-story/3bdf4004457b59e2078bff3caf0b3749" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a>, Noll expressed the gravity of the situation, saying, “Last night was such a tragedy. I just reacted and did what I could to assist the young woman at the scene. Our prayers and condolences go out to their families at this terribly sad time.”</p> <p>Noll's manager, Paul Paoliello, revealed that the singer was deeply affected by the incident: “I can confirm Shannon did provide assistance last night and he is obviously quite shaken up by what happened,” Paoliello said.</p> <p>The local community, already shaken by the accident, has been left heartbroken over the loss of two young lives.</p> <p>Volunteer rescue workers who were present at the scene attested to Noll's immediate and courageous response. Describing the situation, a witness mentioned that Noll "literally ran" to the car engulfed in flames, pulling the passenger away before emergency services arrived. Others at the scene acknowledged Noll's determination to make a difference and lauded his hands-on approach.</p> <p>The victims, Kobi Roberts-Walker and Jaselle Melrose, were both 18 years old and deeply connected to their local community. Roberts-Walker, known by many in the area, had recently posted their car for sale, citing their anticipation of a growing family. Melrose, a recent graduate of Casino High School, was recognised for her academic achievements.</p> <p>The crash occurred on a notoriously hazardous section of Ellangowan Road, known for its narrow roadway and limited lighting. Locals have raised concerns about the safety of this stretch, and the New South Wales Police are currently investigating the incident to determine the cause and whether speed played a role.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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Thief returns stolen truck with note of apology – and gifts!

<p>In the bustling world of Auckland cafés, where flat whites and smashed avocados reign supreme, one café owner recently found himself entangled in a plot that could rival a sitcom script.</p> <p>Varun Chada, the proud owner of Kati Street, had his beloved 4WD truck snatched right out from under his nose, leaving him in a state of disbelief that could only be rivalled by a magician's audience.</p> <p>Picture this: a sunny afternoon, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air, and Chada minding his own business when, suddenly, his trusty truck disappeared faster than a piece of cake at a weight loss support group meeting. The audacity! The cheek! Someone had the gall to pull off a vehicular heist right outside his beloved eatery.</p> <p>But it gets better.</p> <p>Four days later, as if the universe had decided to play a cosmic prank on poor Varun, the stolen truck made a triumphant return. Parked in the exact same spot, as if it had never embarked on a wild joyride. It was like the vehicular version of Houdini's vanishing act, only with less smoke and mirrors and more caffeinated confusion.</p> <p>To add a sprinkle of absurdity to the mix, the returned truck came with a heartfelt, handwritten letter of apology. Now, we applaud any criminal with the decency to apologise, but it seems this particular ne'er-do-well could use a grammar lesson or two. The apology note featured the word "sorry", albeit with a creative twist on spelling that would make any English teacher cringe.</p> <p>“I couldn’t believe it,” Chada <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/watch-cafe-owners-stolen-truck-returned-with-sorry-note/VTWKKMRGR5AOTNIQGJNKBP6H7E/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told The NZ Herald</a>. "The first time I thought I was losing my mind because I’d just walked inside, and the second time I rocked up, and it was parked there."</p> <p>As it turns out, the thief, in an attempt to excuse their vehicular misdeed, claimed to be a bit 'drunk' and in desperate need of a ride home. Because, you know, grand theft auto is a completely acceptable solution to a night out with one too many beers.</p> <p>"It was exactly where I’d parked it," Chada explained, "and I walked up to the window and there was a note inside it saying ‘hey mate sorry but I borrowed your car, was a bit drunk’ and none of us could believe it." </p> <p>But here's the twist that turns this tale into a comedy goldmine – the thief not only returned the truck unscathed but also left some new toys in the back for Chada's young son! It's like they momentarily transformed from a rogue car bandit to the world's most peculiar Santa Claus.</p> <p>Despite the surreal nature of the ordeal, Chada seems to be taking it all in stride. “I’m not condoning what they did is fine, but I mean, they gave it back and they said sorry, so, I don’t know, I’m just stoked to get it back, put it that way.”</p> <p>The saga has become the talk of the town, with Chada's Facebook and community pages buzzing with activity. Social media, the modern-day town square, has played a pivotal role in the unfolding drama, with hundreds of likes, shares and comments turning the café owner into an unintentional social media influencer.</p> <p>As for the truck, it's currently parked at Chada's house, awaiting the forensic scrutiny of the police. The investigation continues, but in the meantime, Aucklanders are left scratching their heads, wondering if their next caffeine fix might come with a side of unexpected vehicular shenanigans.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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"She saw it and dodged it": Incredible scenes as tree plunges through seat in Schoolies crash

<p>In a harrowing incident on K'Gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, a group of teenage girls narrowly escaped a potentially tragic accident during their Schoolies celebration.</p> <p>The friends were exploring the picturesque island off the Queensland coast when a tree crashed through the windscreen of their car, plunging right through the headrest of the passenger seat.</p> <p>Miraculously, all occupants emerged unscathed from this near-miss, thanks to a combination of quick reflexes and the timely intervention of volunteers from the Fraser Coast Red Frogs.</p> <p>As the teens ventured through the island's terrain, their joyous celebration took a terrifying turn when a massive tree limb plummeted onto their vehicle. The impact shattered the glass directly in front of the passenger seat, creating a scene of devastation that could have resulted in serious injuries – or worse.</p> <p>Astonishingly, one of the girls was seated in the passenger seat at the time, and her quick thinking and agility allowed her to dodge the falling debris, narrowly avoiding a potentially life-threatening situation.</p> <p>Tim Winnington, the Fraser Coast Red Frogs coordinator, described the fortuitous nature of the escape, saying, "There was a girl actually sitting in the passenger seat. She saw it and dodged it. They were so lucky not to get injured."</p> <p>The Red Frogs, a charity organisation that provides support and education at events like Schoolies and music festivals, played a crucial role in the aftermath of the incident, with volunteers from the organisation waiting with the shaken teenagers until help arrived.</p> <p>Madhill Motor Group, the generous donor of the ute used by the Red Frogs team, highlighted the gravity of the situation with photos shared on Facebook to demonstrate just how close the call was. The teenagers, treated for shock by paramedics, were fortunate to walk away physically unharmed, a fact not lost on them or their friends.</p> <p>In the aftermath of the incident, a friend of the girls expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Red Frogs for their swift and effective response. “They were all so lucky to walk away with no one being injured, and very lucky the Red Frogs were on scene so quickly and helped them so much, getting them a room to stay, driving their car for them, cleaning up all the glass and calming them all down in this traumatic experience,” they wrote. “We are all extremely grateful that you were there.”</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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Manhunt as two men who fled scene of fatal car crash identified

<p>The young victims of a deadly crash crash have been identified, as police continue their search for two men who fled the scene. </p> <p>Braydan Collier, 13, and Kaine Bell, 14, were killed after a silver Ford sedan slammed into a telegraph pole and a jacaranda tree in Ashcroft, western Sydney, at high speed on Monday, splitting the vehicle in two and throwing one of the young boys from the car.</p> <p>Braydan had just celebrated his 13th birthday on Sunday, the day before he and his best mate would be killed in the horrifying crash.</p> <p>The two men, one of whom was driving the car, abandoned the scene, prompting a major manhunt from police. </p> <p>The men are claimed by police to be Nicholas Thew and Anthony Morris, according to report from <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/braydan-collier-and-kaine-bell-killed-in-horror-ashcroft-crash/news-story/15b23363d37e02c5e2b6fa1839c23869" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Daily Telegraph</em></a>.</p> <p>Graphic CCTV footage of the accident captured the moment two adult men, who, the publication reports “played surrogate big brother roles” in their lives, pulled themselves from the wreckage of the car, stepped over the boys’ bodies and fled the scene. </p> <p>One of the men could be heard yelling to his fellow front seat passenger “I wanna go home” as they ran, leaving the teenagers behind, who died at the scene. </p> <p>Nicholas Thew’s younger brother Dridyn told The Telegraph his family was horrified by the accident.</p> <p>He said he and his mother had taken the young victims “under their wing”.</p> <p>“Mum’s more worried about the two little boys, she tried to take them under her wing, she took Kaine and Braydan under her wing even though she struggles herself,” he said.</p> <p>“They’re little ones I took under my wing to keep out of trouble, but I haven’t seen them for two days and look where they are now."</p> <p>“My younger brother went around there and identified them. I’m heartbroken.”</p> <p>NSW Police are investigating the crash and the events leading up to it as they hunt for the two men who ran from the wreck, with Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden saying the accident was “clearly avoidable”.</p> <p>“We are looking for that driver to present themself so we can speak to him. We do not know what role, if any, he has played in the crash, but it is certainly an active line of investigation,” he said.</p> <p>He urged the pair who fled the vehicle to come forward, warning: “we will find them”.</p> <p>“They just need to present themselves to a police station, so we can engage with them and they can assist us with the inquiries and work out how this tragic situation unfolded,” Mr McFadden said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News</em></p>

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Marvel stuntman and his three kids killed in car crash

<p>The world of cinema was struck by a tragic incident on Halloween night when Taraja Ramsess, a talented stuntman known for his work in <em>Black Panther</em> and <em>The Avengers</em>, lost his life in a horrifying car crash.</p> <p>What makes this loss even more heart-wrenching is that Taraja was not alone in the vehicle; three of his beloved children, including his newborn daughter, also lost their lives as a result of the tragic accident.</p> <p>Ramsess, at the age of 41, had already left an indelible mark in the film industry. Known for his stunt work in blockbuster hits like <em>Avengers: Endgame</em> and <em>Avengers: Infinity War</em>, Taraja was a dedicated athlete and an exceptional stunt performer. His filmography included not only stunt roles but also numerous art department credits in films such as <em>The Hunger Games: Catching Fire</em> and <em>Fast &amp; Furious 7</em>.</p> <p>But beyond his professional achievements, Taraja was cherished as a dedicated family man and a loving father. His mother, Akili, described him as having a deep capacity for love and an unwavering commitment to his children. The pictures she shared on social media show Taraja beaming with pride while surrounded by his children, a testament to the love he had for them.</p> <p>Ava DuVernay, a renowned filmmaker, paid tribute to Taraja Ramsess as a "regal" figure who walked like a king. She spoke of his selflessness, always willing to say "yes" to the demands of his work, and how his enthusiasm inspired others. Taraja's cousin, Pharaoh Hardee, recalled his journey into the world of film, starting with a passion for music videos and eventually realising his artistic talents in the realm of cinema.</p> <p>Taraja was also known for his infectious enthusiasm and his deep pride in being cast in <em>Black Panther</em>. He was a person who cherished the moments of life and had an unquenchable passion for his work. In the wake of his untimely death, Taraja's cousin Pharaoh Hardee encouraged everyone to honour his memory by not taking life or loved ones for granted. These words serve as a poignant reminder to treasure the moments we have with our family and loved ones.</p> <p>In the face of this immense tragedy, the community has rallied to support Taraja Ramsess' family. A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/ramsess" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> campaign was launched to provide financial assistance, and it has already raised over $US80,000.</p> <p>"Taraja was a dedicated father, son and husband and a true philanthropist who was well known and loved by many," reads the tribute on the fundraising page. "He lived for his children. He paved the way and provided opportunities for so many people along the way."</p> <p>That outpouring of support from friends, colleagues and well-wishers is a testament to the impact that Taraja had on those around him.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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"She had the biggest heart": Mum's tribute to five-year-old killed in a car crash

<p>A heartbroken mother has paid tribute to her five-year-old daughter, who was killed in a horrific three car collision in Victoria's north.</p> <p>Savannah Kemp's mother Bryana remembered her daughter as a “precious” and “sassy” little girl who “had the biggest heart”.</p> <p>Savannah leaves behind three brothers - Layton, Cayden and Ryley, as well as her devastated mother.</p> <p>Bryana said in a statement that Savannah was due to start kindergarten at Guthrie Street Primary School with her three older brothers in 2024.</p> <p>"She has been wearing her school uniform around the house for weeks because she was so excited to go to school," she said. "She went to her first orientation a week or so back and even had to wear it."</p> <p>“Savannah was the most precious, sassy little girl. She had the biggest heart which was always full of laughter. She never walked anywhere, she danced or skipped. She was so brave and fearless, learnt it from her brothers. Nothing bothered her."</p> <p>Bryana went on to say that her daughter was destined to be a “fearless ballerina or soccer player” and that her three brothers were training her in their backyard so that she could become just that.</p> <p>“I would always make jokes that she would dance the ball into the goals and that’s exactly what she did with them,” she said.</p> <p>“For a term she has been doing acrobatics at Ucandance and she was learning cartwheels and the splits. She got very good at it in a few short weeks.”</p> <p>Savannah was “destined for great things”, Bryana said.</p> <p>“My sweet little baby, if (you) had the chance (you) would have ruled this world.”</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-the-name-of-savannah" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page has been set up for the family to cover Savannah's funeral costs and any other financial difficulties the family may face, and has already raised over $36,000.</p> <p>Several other people were seriously injured in the crash, including a 32-year-old pregnant woman, whose unborn baby later died.</p> <p>The driver of the car Savannah was a passenger in, a 26-year-old Shepparton woman, was also taken to hospital with serious injuries.</p> <p>Another driver, a 33-year-old Shepparton man, and his passenger, a 22-year-old Katandra West man, were taken to hospital for minor injuries.</p> <p>A Victoria Police spokesperson said that officers are still working to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the collision.</p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe</em></p>

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Common car act could cost touchy drivers a hefty fine

<p>A worried driver has shared his concerns over being slapped with a potential fine after being caught holding his girlfriend's hand while driving. </p> <p>The man questioned whether the hand holding warranted a fine, after the couple passed a road safety camera in the "compromising" position. </p> <p>“Me and my girlfriend were holding hands and there was a camera on the left side, will they fine me?” the poster anonymously posted in a Facebook group for discussions about mobile phone detection camera locations in Australia.</p> <p>Online responses were varied from commenters, as many thought he driver could attract a fine as the act could be misconstrued as a more serious offence. </p> <p>One person wrote, “Was there a (mobile phone) between your hand and your girlfriends?" while another cheekily added “As long as she was just holding your hand.”</p> <p>But while some people mocked the question, others were closer to the mark, writing, “Holding her hand is no problem other than you may not have had effective control of the vehicle.”</p> <p>“Both hands on the steering wheel is my take on it,” another said.</p> <p>While police and transport authorities confirmed to <a href="https://7news.com.au/travel/driving/common-driving-act-that-could-cost-romantic-drivers-up-to-514-c-12217058" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a> that no specific rule exists for holding hands, if the hand-holding is deemed to constitute a failure to maintain proper control of a motor vehicle, that would be an offence under Australian Road Rule 297 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.</p> <p>The rule is observed nationally, but not all states fine offending motorists equally.</p> <p>Those who are caught red-handed could be fined between $215 and $514 depending on where they are.</p> <p>A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said that drivers should use their best judgement, saying, “Drivers must also drive with care and attention, as there are significant penalties for more serious offending.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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