Queensland youths rescued from burning car

Five youths are in hospital after their suspected stolen car crashed and burned, police say.
Five youths are in hospital after their suspected stolen car crashed and burned, police say.

Five children have been rescued from a burning car after its alleged underage driver crashed on a Gold Coast highway.

Queensland Police believe a 12-year-old boy was behind the wheel of the allegedly stolen vehicle that burst into flames after clipping a truck and hitting a concrete barrier on the Pacific Highway at Gaven about 1.20am on Tuesday morning.

The five occupants aged 12 to 14 were pulled from the wreckage by passing motorists including an off-duty officer, and are in hospital.

The 12-year-old boy - who required CPR at the scene from emergency services - and a 14-year-old girl in the front passenger seat are both in a serious condition with chest injuries.

The other three passengers - boys aged 13 and 14 and another 14-year-old girl - are in a stable condition with various chest, facial and back injuries.

Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said it was "very shocking" that a 12-year-old had been driving the car which had allegedly been stolen from Palm Beach on Monday.

"He posed a real risk to other road users. Any person of that age without a licence driving on our roads is extremely, extremely concerning," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Det Insp Ahearn said good Samaritans who stopped to help the children from the burning car had been met with "very confronting" scenes.

"But it is also heartening that motorists were able to pull over and stop," he said.

"This car had caught fire and that brings with it its own dangers. They were pretty instrumental in extricating them from that car."

He said the 59-year-old man driving the truck was not injured.

The truck driver was initially unaware that there had been a collision until noticing rear damage to his vehicle some time later.

Det Insp Ahearn said police would interview the children after they had recovered in hospital.

He appealed for anyone with dashcam footage or information to come forward.

Australian Associated Press