By HARRY CLARKE

AFTER a seven week forensic investigation, police have criminally charged two young drivers over a crash which hospitalised two teenage girls and left a small Queensland community reeling.

Police will allege two vehicles were racing along Wambo St in Chinchilla about 8.40pm on March 31 when one of the vehicles, a Toyota Landcruiser ute, speared off the road and crashed violently through a front yard fence.

One of the passengers of the Landcruiser, 16-year-old Cassi West, suffered critical head injuries and remains in a Brisbane hospital.

The second passenger, 16-year-old Bree Critch, suffered serious facial injuries. She had to undergo surgery and spent two weeks in hospital in Toowoomba.

16-year-old Cassi West remains at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, seven weeks after the crash. IMAGE: Facebook

Officers from the Forensic Crash Unit have now charged the drivers of both vehicles, an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old male, with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The 18-year-old Landcruiser driver’s offence includes the aggravated circumstance of causing grievous bodily harm, while the 17-year-old driver of the second vehicle, a Toyota Prado, has the aggravated circumstance of failing to stop at the scene of a crash to render assistance.

The Caller understands evidence has come from bystanders who came to the injured girls’ aid, and allegedly told police the driver of the Prado returned to the scene minutes after the crash, before leaving again.

It’s also understood police obtained CCTV footage from multiple angles of the two cars allegedly speeding through the streets of Chinchilla moments leading up to the crash, while numerous witnesses allegedly said they saw the cars driving erratically.

Neither of the drivers were injured.

The Caller understands Police will allege that forensic analysis of the skid marks leading to the crash scene indicate the Landcruiser was likely travelling in excess of 100km/hr.

Both drivers will appear in court in September.

The crash shocked the tight-knit Chinchilla community, which rallied around the West and Critch families through fundraising to help pay for medical costs.

Cassi West and Bree Critch are close friends who are both in Year 11 at Chinchilla State High School.

The Caller reported last month on the gratitude expressed by both families for the community’s support through their harrowing ordeal. The full story can be read HERE.

An imaged posted online by Bree Critch with the caption “Us against the world, forever… You are the strongest girl I know Cass, I love you xx”
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