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ABC News

Father of teen killed in Buxton car crash says he does not hold grudge against driver

The father of one of five teenagers killed in a horror crash near Sydney says he "doesn't hold any grudges" against the 18-year-old driver.

Year 9 Picton High School student Lily Van de Putte was killed when a Nissan Navara ute ploughed into a tree on East Parade in Buxton, near Picton, just before 8pm yesterday.

Her father John Van de Putte told the ABC: "We don't hold any grudges against the driver because he is going to go through hell."

Antonio Desisto, Summer Williams, Tyrese Bechard and Gabriella McLennan, who were all aged between 14 and 16, also died in the crash.

Police have this afternoon arrested the 18-year-old driver.

Tyrell Edwards sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

He was released from Liverpool Hospital today, and police arrested him about 1.50pm in Bargo.

He has been taken to Narellan Police Station where he is assisting police with inquiries.

Mr Edwards was also arrested last night after the accident for the purpose of alcohol and drug testing.

Meanwhile, a friend of two girls killed in the crash says she feels like she could have prevented the tragedy after turning down an invitation to "hang out" with them last night.

Picton High School student Ellie Mount said she played football with two of the year nine girls who lost their lives in last night's crash.

Ms Mount is one of many friends and family coming to pay their respects at the crash scene, arriving in cars displaying red P-plates.

Police described the scene of the crash as "confronting", with the teenagers known to many of the first responders from the local community.

"To think that they texted me last night asking if I wanted to hang out with them," Ms Mount said.

"I could've got mum to pick them up. I could've prevented it. Now I don't know what to do.

"They weren't ready to go.

"They we're always there for me," she said.

Police are investigating whether speed was a factor behind a crash.

East Parade is a rural road and the crash occurred just outside a residential property.

Acting Inspector Jason Hogan, from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit said the driver's breath test at the scene was negative but further test results still remain to be examined.

"At this stage, we are investigating all lines of inquiry, but our preliminary investigations would indicate that speed is a possible factor in relation to this crash," he said.

Acting Inspector Hogan said the teenagers' families were being offered support.

"Our family liaison officers have spoken to the families and, under the circumstances, they wouldn't be doing very well," he said.

"We'll be offering them some support and we've reached out to the road victims' support group to provide ongoing welfare and counselling as part of the services that they provide."

The passengers were all students at the local Picton High School from the surrounding towns of Tahmoor and Bargo.

One mother told the ABC she heard the news this morning before dropping her daughter to Picton High School.

"I'm just absolutely devastated, I just can't believe that something like that would happen so close to home," she said.

"The kids were at school yesterday and now they're not here anymore —it's just devastating."

The NSW Department of Education is providing two separate counselling teams onsite at Picton High School today, one for staff and one for students.

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