COMMENT: By Tim Dower
The crash in Christchurch breaks your heart. Three young kids are gone in the most unimaginable horror. Two of them, brothers, a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old.
It's all too familiar: police try to pull the car over and for whatever reason, the driver thinks trying to get away is a better call than getting caught.
A chase, high speeds, an unskilled driver, suburban street, road spikes, and we have a disaster. A stupid decision with the predictable end result: they're all dead.
I've heard some pretty rugged things said about this and we all know that sadly, this is not the last time we'll be reporting this kind of incident.
You've got to feel for parents and friends of these kids and for the police who abandoned the chase and those who were injured trying to get them out of the crashed car. They'll no doubt be agonising over this.
They'll be thinking,'What if I'd done this? What if I hadn't done that? Were we right to lay out the spikes?.
I doubt they'll be getting much sleep for a long time to come.
It leaves us with a whole swag of questions, not least, what were the kids doing out at that time of night? How come they're driving around in a stolen car?
Maybe I'm naive, or perhaps I had a sheltered upbringing, but even the worst of the scallies I hung around with wouldn't have gone there.
Is this a Christchurch thing? There have been three fatal crashes after chases in two months.
Are the kids emboldened in some way by the boy-racer crap we've been seeing over Christmas? You know, 'they're sticking two fingers to the police so why don't we?'.
Whatever lies behind this horrible, horrible disaster, it'll cut to every parent with kids this age.
Do you know what your kid is doing when they're out at night? And just as importantly, do you know who they're with?
* Tim Dower is a Newstalk ZB host.