The occupants of a vehicle that crashed on the Stuart Highway near Manton Dam on Sunday night, that saw the 15-year-old driver killed and four other males between the ages of nine and 15 hospitalised, were allegedly involved in a robbery at an Adelaide River service station using axes and machetes earlier in the evening, sources have told the NT Independent.
The vehicle, an allegedly stolen Land Cruiser, crashed into a tree near the Manton Dam turn-off around 10pm on Sunday night.
Police said the driver, a 15-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene and the other four passengers were taken to Royal Darwin Hospital by CareFlight with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Initial reports indicated the passengers were trapped in the vehicle following the collision with the tree and sustained serious injuries.
Sources said the five males were earlier involved in a robbery at an Adelaide River servo that resulted in injuries to staff.
NT Police issued a statement about the crash Monday morning but did not mention the alleged robbery or the stolen vehicle.
They later held a press conference, after the NT Independent reported on the circumstances around the crash, to confirm the youths were wanted in connection to the armed robbery and that the vehicle they were driving was stolen. Police also said the four passengers had all been ejected from the vehicle on impact, suffering serious but non-life threatening injuries.
It was also later confirmed the 15-year-old driver who died at the scene was in the care of Territory Families at the time of the incident and the other four boys were also known to the agency.