17-year-old teenage boy charged after 12-year-old dies in crash in Wollongong, NSW

A teenager has been charged following the death of a 12-year-old boy in a horror car crash on NSW’s south coast earlier this week.

The 12-year-old suffered serious head and internal injuries when a black Holden Barina crashed into a power pole at the intersection of Towradgi Rd in Wollongong around 1.35am on Tuesday.

Officers at Corrimal Police Station responded immediately but found an empty car after the occupants had fled.

But a short time later around 2am, emergency services were called to a Balgownie home following reports a 12-year-old boy with significant injuries had been dropped at the property.

The child was treated by paramedics at the scene and transferred to Wollongong Hospital, but was pronounced dead when he arrived.

A crime scene was established on Towradgi Rd and examined by crash investigation unit specialist officers.

A crime scene was also established at the home, where police believe a friend of the boy’s lived.

Three days later on Friday, a 17-year-old boy was arrested at Goulburn Police Station about 6pm.

The teen was charged with six offences including dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving occasioning death.

He was refused bail and appeared at a Children’s Court on Saturday.

As part of their investigation, police are looking into whether a dangerous TikTok trend could possibly be linked to the 12-year-old’s death.

Crash investigation unit manager Detective Acting Inspector Jason Hogan made a pointed request for any social media material.

“We’d also appeal for anyone that might have social media content that would cover the incidents that’s happened this morning,” he said on Tuesday.

A confronting TikTok hashtag known as “creeping while ya sleepin” has recently emerged in regional and suburban areas

Kids as 10 young are stealing cars, driving dangerously and trying to goad police into chasing them.

When asked if the boy’s death was linked to this trend, Inspector Hogan said police would be “carrying out all lines of inquiry, and social media inquiries was one of them”.

A TikTok spokesperson said they are actively working to remove content with the “creeping while ya sleepin” hashtag as soon as it is uploaded.

“We are aware of this type of content and although instances remain relatively low, we continue to proactively remove content associated with this hashtag which violates our Community Guidelines. We also work with law enforcement to assist and provide support where appropriate,” they said.

“User safety is our top priority. In the last quarter in Australia, we proactively removed more than 666,852 videos from our platform, nearly 90 per cent of them had not had a single view before being removed.”

It is also understood that TikTok has been engaging with NSW Police on the issue, while the social media platform has already taken action against some individuals.

Investigations into the crash are continuing and anyone with information or dashcam relevant to the crash has been urged to contact Wollongong Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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