AUSTRALIAN twins Angela and Maryanne Vourlis learned their teenage brother had died in a car crash from reading Facebook, after a police delay in informing the family, a newspaper reported yesterday.
The women logged on to the site on Sunday expecting to see birthday messages – not knowing that their 17-year-old brother Bobby, his friend Chris Naylor, 19, and another teenager had been killed.
Instead, they were baffled and upset by what friends had posted.
“I didn’t get it. All these people were writing, ‘RIP Chris Naylor’ and ‘RIP Bobby’, and I thought: ‘What’s going on?’,” Angela, who turned 20 on Sunday, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
The mother rang her local police station to check into the reports and learned that her son was one of three teens who died in a crash in Sydney’s west in rainy conditions early Sunday.
Bobby’s uncle Peter Matelis said it beggared belief police had not contacted the family immediately after the accident. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child in a car accident, but to have to hear it on Facebook, then have to chase up the police yourself, is just horrifying.
Superintendent Ray Filewood defended the delay, saying police had difficulty confirming Bobby’s identity.
“Once his identity was firmly established, St Marys police contacted Mt Druitt police to send a car to the Vourlis residence,” he said.
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