Police have urged a grief-stricken community to come together in light of a horror car crash which killed five people.
Officers investigating the crash where a stolen Renault Clio hit a tree at 9.45pm on Saturday said “emotions were running high” as relatives, families and friends wanted answers.
Speaking at a press conference at the scene on Stonegate Road near Meanwood Supt Matt Davison, who heads neighbourhood policing for the Leeds District, said: “I understand that emotions are running high in the community and we urge people to support each other at what is a really difficult time and to support us with our investigation so that we get the questions answered that people want answering.
“These are a harrowing and tragic set of circumstances. We have lost five members of our community, including three children, and our thoughts and condolences are with those involved and we are doing our very best to support them.”
He added the police is working with the local authority to offer support to family and friends of the five victims and those who were first on the scene – including the emergency services.
Det Chief Insp Jim Griffiths said that the images that confronted those first on the scene “would have been horrendous for anyone”.
He said there had been numerous calls to police when the crash happened and that the result of the car hitting the tree was “catastrophic”.
DCI Griffiths told the press conference: “When I arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning it was a scene of total carnage and it would have been a horrendous situation for anyone.
“I would not like to compare it to anything else I have seen.”
All the five victims have yet to be formally identified, but they have been named locally as brothers Ellis and Elliott Thornton, aged 12 and 14; Darnall Harte, 15; Anthoney Armour and Robbie Meerun, both 24.
DCI Griffiths confirmed the deceased were all in the car when it crashed along with a sixth person, aged 15, who survived the smash before being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
A seventh person, also a 15-year-old male, was also arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but in the vicinity of the wreckage.
Last night one remained in custody while the other was released while under police investigation.
It was revealed yesterday that the black Clio, registration number FL06 MWU, had been stolen from Headingley at around 6.30pm and driven around Leeds.
Police say it was the only vehicle involved in the crash, they know it was travelling in the direction of Northside Retail Park and there were no pedestrians involved but could not speculate over speed.
DCI Griffiths said: “We are not looking for anyone else at the moment, it’s obviously still an ongoing investigation.
“That’s what we believe at the moment, everyone that was involved was in that vehicle.
“I can’t say how the situation evolved because we haven’t got all that information yet, hopefully as we move forward and as we piece all the evidence together we might end up in a situation where we can explain that [how two people survived].”
Witnesses who saw the Clio and how it was being driven are asked to contact police.