A grieving mum begged her teenage daughter not to go into a car then told her “be safe, I love you” minutes before she died in a 90-mph fireball crash.
Jacinta Barnett, 19, from Melbourne, Australia, was riding in as a passenger of the Mazda 3 when Hayden Currie smashed into a Nissan Skyline in September 2019.
Shannon Lorenzo Juriansz, 21, and the Nissan’s driver died “almost instantly” after his car burst into flames while Jacinta suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to The Alfred Hospital.
She was pronounced dead shortly after surrounded by her heartbroken mum, great-grandma, uncle and grandad.
Her mum Samantha Barnett told Australian news site The Age that she had pleaded with Jacinta not to ride in the car before the horrific accident.
She said: “I kept telling her ‘don’t get in the car with him, his car is unsafe’.
But eventually she let Jacinta go, telling her: “Be safe, I love you.”
Describing her daughter as a “beautiful” young woman, she said: “She was very kind, very generous… and always put everyone first before herself.
“She had deep love for her friends and family, and she also had deep love for photography.
“She loved taking photos, she was very good at it.”
Lucca Smeraldo, 18, who was in the backseat of the Mazda survived but was left a paraplegic.
Currie, 10, has now been jailed for 12 years for killing Jacinta and Shannon.
Police at the time said Currie was spotted “ducking and weaving” through traffic before the tragic crash
Witnesses recalled how Currie’s car was “flying” at 90mph as he smashed into the Nissan as it pulled out of a side street.
But instead of calling emergency services for help Currie is claimed to have called his dad and a pal to tell them he had crashed.
He had told paramedics who rushed to the scene that he had drunk about 15 Corona beers the previous evening in celebration of the AFL grand final.
He had also drank a beer eight hours before the crash but a blood test showed no trace of alcohol in his system.
Currie had been known to be a dangerous driver and just 11 days before the fatal crash he was filmed racing at 110mph along the same road of the accident.
The court heard how he took unnecessary risks just to impress his friends.
Judge Michael McInerney said the tragic case showed how difficult it is to protect young people from themselves at an age where they think they are “bullet proof”.
The judge said Mr Juriansz would have been able to see the Mazda 3 if he had looked both ways before moving but he acknowledged the crash was caused by Currie’s reckless driving.
Currie pleaded guilty to two charges of culpable driving causing death and conduct endangering life, as well as one count of negligently causing serious injury, 7 News reports.Currie now suffers from post-traumatic disorder and ADHD.
He wrote an apology letter to the families of both victims and must serve at least six years before he is considered for parole.