Two men banned from driving killed after car crashes and burst into flames during high-speed police chase
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Two men were reportedly killed in a fiery crash when their silver Audi exploded into flames after veering off the road during a high-speed police chase on a motorway in Sydney’s inner west.
Jebriel Dandan, 24, and Seifeddine Malas, 27, were chased by NSW Police on Tuesday, January 24, when their performance S3 sedan flipped over a guard rail and down a 20-meter embankment onto the M4 at Homebush. The pursuit allegedly began at around 12:30 am when highway patrol officers attempted to stop a speeding Audi S3 on Centenary Drive, Strathfield, in Sydney's inner west. The officers chased the speeding car for around 2 km before it flew off the road and got engulfed in a fireball, 7News reported.
An off-duty police officer and two trainee cops desperately tried to rescue the two passengers but were constantly rebuffed by the blaze's extreme heat. "Their efforts were both brave and admirable," Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Adam Whyte, said according to DailyMail. "They went back a number of times despite the heat and the fire in an attempt to remove these persons from the vehicle." The brave officers were treated at the scene for minor injuries. The bodies of the two men were recovered only after firefighters extinguished the blaze.
The two men are yet to be formally identified but their identities were confirmed by family members. The saddening death of Malas was confirmed by a grieving family member who said "we are all just trying to get our thoughts together at this time," according to Daily Mail. On the other hand, Jebriel's relative Isaac Dandan said their family was not in a state to make any comment at the time. A Facebook group ‘Request Dua’, which marks the death of Muslims, also confirmed their identities and asked the community to pray for the pair. "With shock and sadness two families are grieving the loss of their loved ones," the site admin posted. "Our brothers Jabril(sic) Dandan and Seifeddine Malas returned to their Lord after being involved in a critical car accident early hours of this morning."
It was also reported that the two men had several violation charges against them. Malas, who owned a brick business, was banned from driving until 2025 in June after a series of driving offenses. He was subject to a three-year intensive corrections order, Daily Mail reported. Dandan’s driving license was also revoked for driving under the influence of drugs. He had previously been convicted of stealing and was caught possessing drugs and a knife in a public place.
An investigation of the incident's circumstances will be conducted by a critical incident team. One of three westbound lanes remained closed at Homebush Bay Drive six hours after the crash, along with both the north and southbound on-ramps.