A COUPLE expecting their first child were killed by an alleged hit-and-run joyrider weeks after sharing a heartbreaking photo of their baby scan.

Kate Leadbetter, 31, and Matty Field, 37, were mown down in a horror crash while walking their dogs near Brisbane, Australia.


An allegedly stolen Toyota Land Cruiser off-roader slammed into a lorry and rolled before hitting the tragic couple as they crossed the street.

The teenager driver fled the "catastrophic" scene on foot and was arrested later, police said.

Kate, who was around six months pregnant, and Matty died on the road in Alexandra Hills at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Just weeks earlier, Kate and Matty proudly held up an ultrasound image as they shared their happy news with friends and family.

Kate's sister Beverley reposted the photo on Facebook on Tuesday evening as she appealed for help finding the couple's missing dog Frankie.

The pet was described as possibly injured, requiring daily medication due to a chronic disease and likely in “desperate need of a vet”.

Dozens of locals in Brisbane's Bayside area joined the search before Frankie was found alive in bushland a day after the crash.



A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in a youth court yesterday charged with two counts of murder.

He is also charged with burglary and "dangerous operation of a vehicle while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance".

He allegedly took the four-wheel-drive Toyota from a nearby home, then deliberately rammed another car.

Fifteen minutes later it is alleged he returned to the same junction where he ran a red light, crashed into a lorry and rolled onto the couple.

TEARFUL VIGIL

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said emergency crews were confronted with an “incredibly catastrophic scene”.

He said yesterday it was an “incredibly sad and difficult” set of circumstances.

“The terrible tragedy that I’m talking about has resulted in two and potentially three innocent lives being lost,” he said.

“Despite the incredible efforts of witnesses and later Queensland Ambulance Service, both pedestrians died at the scene.

“Tragically, and from advice from the family and the QAS, we understand that Katherine was pregnant.”

Kate's aunt Danielle Leadbetter visited the crash scene last night, where shocked locals laid flowers, baby socks and toys at a vigil to remember the "three lost souls".

She described her niece as a “beautiful, happy, loving young girl”.

“She was everything that was beautiful in this world,” she said.

"It is just so beautiful to see how many people loved her, cared about her, and her baby and her partner.”

Danielle added: “When I heard it this morning, before I even knew it was a family member, I was just outraged.

“No parent should have to bury their child.”





Trish Porter, who lives doors away from the crash scene, told the Brisbane Times: “I heard the impact and then saw a dog flying past – it was going so fast I couldn’t do anything to catch him.

“When I looked up towards the hill, I thought one car had hit another – I didn’t realise there were pedestrians.

“I was awake until 2am thinking about it. I’m in disbelief and I feel for the families.

“They were just having an innocent walk … you don’t expect that to happen.”

One of the couple's two dogs was found injured nearby and taken to a vet.

More than 700 people joined a Facebook group dedicated to the search for missing Frankie after she is thought to have run off in fright.

Councillors also appealed for the community to help find the pet, who need medication fro Addison's disease.

There was a joyous response online when volunteers found her "weak but alive" in the bush 16 hours later.

“Well done to all involved. This tragedy is heartbreaking and this is the best outcome in an otherwise devastating situation,” one group member wrote.

“So grateful Frankie has been found. What a fantastic community we have. Happy news from an absolute tragedy,” another said.

A local veterinary surgery has said they will treat both dogs for free.

Some $2,650 that was raised for the vets' bills on a GoFundMe appeal will instead go towards the funerals of Kate and Matty.



 

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