The four teens were traveling down Dohertys Road in Truganina when they collided with a truck near Forsyth Road around 7:30 p.m. on September 30.
Four teenagers, including the 16-year-old driver and his 15, 16 and 17-year-old passengers, were killed in the crash. Two other children, ages 15 and 17, suffered life-threatening injuries.
The 28-year-old truck driver was also taken to hospital with serious lower body injuries.
Police are now investigating an altercation that occurred just eight minutes before the teens were killed in the collision.
A fight broke out outside the Tarneit shopping center on Derrimut Road, approximately three miles from the crash scene, between the teens and unknown men in three other vehicles, including a red Volkswagen Golf GTI, a blue Volkswagen Golf R and a Holden VF Commodore. Red.
Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said police had yet to determine the motive for the altercation and whether it had any relevance to the collision that occurred minutes later.
“We have a young unlicensed driver speeding in an overloaded vehicle full of young men not wearing seat belts,” he said.
“This is now compounded by the circumstances leading up to the collision and homicide and major collision investigators are working to establish what connection this altercation might have to the way the victim’s vehicle was being driven.
“It may be that it has no connection, but we really need to speak to the occupants of those three vehicles to find out more.”
Police have released CCTV and footage of the fight in hopes that someone can identify the three vehicles and the unknown men.
The detectives also want to speak to anyone who can provide more information about the altercation and the reason for it.
“I am calling for anyone with information on those vehicles to come forward, or for the occupants to contact the police,” Detective Thomas said.
“If you have any information, or if you have any CCTV or dash cam footage of the collision or the events that preceded it, we urge you to come forward.”
People living or traveling in the Truganina and Tarneit areas around Poplar Boulevard, Derrimut Road and Dohertys Road have been urged to review any CCTV footage they may have during the night between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Police have described the fatal accident as “catastrophic” and remain determined to provide answers to the victims and their bereaved families.
“This collision had caused an irrevocable change of at least seven lives: four lives have been taken too soon, another two have been drastically altered and we have an innocent truck driver who will undoubtedly take a long time to recover from his experience,” said the detective Thomas.
“I know that the Assistant Commissioner of the Highway Police Command, Glenn Weir, described the incident as ‘catastrophic’ and I still think that is an incredibly accurate word to use.
“We are hopeful that the investigation can provide some answers to the families of each of the victims as to why this tragic incident occurred.”