`Police killed my girl'
So says the mother of a 16 year old girl who was killed in a car crash on friday morning.
Nikkola Hayward was a passenger in a stolen car which became airborne and slammed into a tree in William St, Beckenham, soon after police stopped pursuing the vehicle.
Two other passengers in the car, aged 11 and 13, were injured and are in hospital.
Nikkola's mother, Joanne Hayward, 41, choked back tears yesterday as she spoke of her bubbly daughter who loved socialising and playing pranks on her siblings.
"We're sick and tired of young kids dying at the hands of police," Mrs Hayward said.
"Even though the kids did wrong - they were in a stolen car - they don't deserve to die. They're not hardened criminals. You can always replace a car, but you can't replace someone's life."
She said the police should have aborted the chase straight away.
"There's no excuse. It shows the arrogance of the police," she said. "They should have called off the chase and they could have got them a few hours later or the next day."
The drama started when police went to a Bentley house with a search warrant relating to a bag- snatch complaint.
Seven young Aborigines fled the house and left the scene in a stolen Holden sedan.
Supt Fred Zagami said police pursued the vehicle, but then aborted the chase "some time" before the accident happened.
Yesterday, a police spokesman said the officers were 800m behind the vehicle and were no longer in pursuit when it crashed. An internal investigation will be carried out.
"Police have got to do their job," Supt Zagami said. "Unfortunately, the sad result is that sometimes people do kill themselves because of their stupidity."
Four of the car's occupants were taken to hospital, including a 13-year-old boy with serious head injuries and a 19-year-old woman with head and spinal injuries.
The Police didn't kill her daughter, the guy driving the car did. Plus the girl had a hand in her own death by getting into the car anyway.