An unlicensed driver charged with killing two young boys in a horror crash in country New South Wales is ‘devastated’ and wishes he could take their place, as his great- grandmother revealed she had begged him not to drive.
Jacob Donn, 25, is facing 14 charges related to the deaths of Sheldon, 6, and Shane Shorey, 7, at Wellington, in the state’s central west, at about 5.30pm on Tuesday.
The two young boys were walking home from the local pool with their mother, older brother and a family friend when Donn allegedly lost control of his girlfriend’s Holden sedan and ploughed into the group.
Donn grew up in Wellington and was raised by his great-grandmother Dawn, 91, who took him in when he was just a baby, as his mother – her granddaughter – was unable to care for him.
Just an hour before the crash Donn had visited his elderly great-grandmother and his great-aunt, driving his girlfriend’s car to their place despite never holding a license.
Chillingly, a heartbroken Mrs Donn told Daily Mail Australia she urged him not to get behind the wheel as he left her place about 4pm.
From the cells at Dubbo Police Station he called his great-grandmother multiple times on Wednesday, and she said he told her he wished it was him that was dead – and not the two innocent young boys.
Jacob Donn (left) who was allegedly behind the wheel of an out-of-control car that crashed and killed two young boys in Wellington, NSW, on Tuesday has been left devastated by the accident his great-grandmother Dawn Donn (right), who raised him, said
Sheldon (left), 6, and Shane Shorey (right), 7, were killed when an out-of-control car ploughed into them as they walked home from the local pool with their mother, brother and their friend on Tuesday afternoon
‘I’m devastated, I’m so sorry for those boys and Jacob is too. He loves kids,’ Mrs Donn said.
‘I’ve spoken to him on the phone, he’s rung me twice. He’s upset, he’s crying all the time.’
‘He was here yesterday about 3pm to 4.30pm… it was like normal, and when he came here yesterday we told him get out of the car, you should not be driving, but he didn’t listen.
‘He’s so sad. He is a kind loving boy, he’s only got us. I might not ever get to see him in this home ever again if he goes to jail.’
Sheldon, 6, and Shane Shorey, 7, were killed instantly while walking home in Wellington, near Dubbo, from the local pool on Wednesday (pictured, left, at a Santa photo with their dad and siblings)
Donn, 25, called his great-grandmother a number of times form the jail cells at Dubbo Police Station after the crash and said he wished he had died instead of the young boys (pictured, t pair at Mrs Donn’s 90th birthday in 2019)
Wellington residents visit the scene in Warne St where two boys were mowed down and killed by a driver on Tuesday afternoon
Donn had moved in with his great-grandparents when he was a baby and they were in their late-60s.
His mother was unable to look after him and his father was not on the scene, before he died a few years back.
Mrs Donn said he was a lovely and respectful young boy, who was named the school captain at Wellington Primary School.
He then joined the flock of locals who move over to Wellington High School but lost his love of studying and dropped out in Year 10.
After leaving school he struggled to find work and eventually moved out of his home with his great-grandparents and in with his girlfriend on Warne Street.
Just two years ago, Donn smiled and stood proudly next to his great-grandmother at a party for her 90th birthday.
Donn (pictured) had moved in with his great-grandparents when he was a baby and they were in their late-60s. He had moved out in recent years and was living with his girlfriend on Warne Street, just next to where the crash occurred
Police allege he was performing burnouts on Warne Street when he lost control, mounted the gutter and hit the group of five pedestrians
Sheldon, 6, and Shane Shorey, 7, were killed instantly while walking home in Wellington, near Dubbo, from the local pool on Wednesday. Their mother Shayleen Frail, 34, was trapped up against a fence by the Holden, while a 10-year-old family friend had his leg ripped apart by the force of the terrible crash (pictured, with their father Joseph)
‘As a boy he was wonderful, everybody in the town liked him, loved him even, he was always well mannered,’ Mrs Donn said.
‘I was nearly 70 (when I took him in) but it didn’t matter he made us young again, we had a wonderful life with him, he was the loveliest kid.
‘Even the police said last night just how well mannered he was, they all knew him too. When I found out I was shocked, I was just devastated.
‘The police came around and spoke to us, they were frightened of what may happen to him, with all these people online threatening to kill him.
‘They were frightened of what would happen to me too, cars were driving past all the night and yelling out: “We’ll kill you, you f**king dogs”.’
A teddy bear and flowers at the scene of the Wellington tragedy after the two little boys lost their lives
Donn allegedly fled the scene of the crash before being caught by police on nearby Elizabeth Street about 8.30pm.
He was taken to Dubbo Police Station and charged with 14 offences including being in possession of a dangerous drug, driving dangerous driving occasioning death and two counts of failing to stop and assist after an accident.
He will face Burke Local Court via video link on Thursday morning.
Joseph Shorey whose two sons were killed in the tragic crash said his boys were ‘fun loving, beautiful boys’ who lived with him in Queensland and had been in Wellington for a Christmas visit with their mother and their grandparents.
Mr Shorey said he had last seen his sons on Monday where they told him they loved him and would see him in just a few weeks.
Donn had never held a drivers licence but still allegedly got behind the wheel of this Holden sedan on Tuesday afternoon
The tragedy has shocked the tight-knit community in country New South Wales where locals flocked to the scene with balloons and teddy bears
Sheldon, Shane, their older brother, their mother Shayleen Frail and a friend were walking home from the Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre (pictured) when a car ploughed into them on the same street
‘I only saw them the day before and they gave me big hugs and cuddles and said: “Dad, we love you, we’ll see you on the 17th”,’ he said.
‘Now I’ve lost my two youngest boys.
‘My oldest boy is nine and he’s OK but he’s scared. He’s in Orange Base Hospital so I’m on my way to pick him up.
‘He doesn’t know that his brothers are dead, he just thinks they are in hospital like him, I don’t know how I’m going to tell him
‘I can’t believe it mate. I’m so shattered. It is gut wrenching, it is heartbreaking, it is everything you ever imagine it would be.
‘My kids should be burying me, I shouldn’t have to be burying them, they were my world.’
Heartbroken father Joseph Shorey (pictured) remembered Sheldon (middle) and Shane (far left) as ‘fun loving and beautiful’. He told Daily Mail Australia his oldest son (left), 9, had escaped with minor injuries (Also pictured are Mr Shorey’s partner Ivy and his step-daughter Brey)
Mr Shorey said his children were all incredible sporty and loved the outdoors, particularly playing rugby league and soccer in the background, and riding their bikes and scooters. Pictured on their scooters above are Shane (left) and Sheldon .
Mr Shorey said his children were all incredible sporty and loved the outdoors, particularly playing rugby league and soccer in the background, and riding their bikes and scooters.
He gave Daily Mail Australia permission to picture his two sons, sharing a range of his favourite photos including some taken just recently over Christmas.
‘They were very happy kids, very sporty, very happy go lucky, just beautiful. They were very popular, no matter where they went,’ Mr Shorey said.
‘Sheldon was a little show off, always being like ‘look at me, look at me’, but he’s a little cutey, all the girls loved him.
‘Shane was very sporty and he also liked to be noticed. He knew he was good and he liked people to know as well.’
Mr Shorey said the boys had been living in NSW before moved up to Queensland with him last year – but wherever they went they were popular kids
Mr Shorey’s oldest son did not know about the deaths of his brothers until his father told him on Wednesday morning
Mr Shorey spent the night driving down to Wellington from Queensland after finding out about his sons deaths late on Tuesday night.
His older son was released from Orange Base Hospital on Wednesday while his ex-partner Shayleen Frail, 34, remains in a critical condition in Westmead Hospital.
Mr Shorey and his son returned to the scene on Wednesday to lay a floral tribute to his young sons.
Local NSW Police Acting Superintendent Natalie Antaw described the incident as a ‘tragedy’ for the community.
‘Obviously it’s tragic circumstances for the entire community and our thoughts are completely with the family and friends of the little ones involved and also the rest of the community of Wellington,’ Act Supt Antaw said.
‘My kids should be burying me, I shouldn’t have to be burying them, they were my world,’ Mr Shorey said
Acting Police Superintendent Inspector Natalie Antaw (pictured) described the incident as a tragedy for the Wellington community
‘Obviously a scene like that is horrific for anybody.
‘It’s a tragedy for the families involved and we’ll be making sure we take care of our own staff and others who have witnessed this tragic incident.
‘It’s one of those jobs where you sometimes wish your arms were a little bit longer so you can wrap them around all your staff.’
The close knit community of Wellington, home to 5,000 people, is now rallying around the shattered family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up with donations to go to Mr Shorey to help him pay for funerals for his two boys, after he lost his job late last year.
Devastated dad visits the scene where his two young sons were killed
Sheldon and Shane Shorey’s father, Joseph Shorey, making a brave visit to the scene, told media gathered he had a very simple message for hoons: ‘It’s not cool, and it’s left two of my sons dead.’
Confronting pictures show Mr Shorey with his head in his hands after arriving with friends and family, before falling to his knees and inspecting the tributes from locals.
Balloons, teddy bears and flowers adorned the tragic scene, with the local community in tatters over the deaths – which saw neighbours rush to free the trapped family from under a car.
The father of the two boys killed, Joseph Shorey, arrives at the scene of the devastating crash in Warne St
After driving through the night from his home in Queensland, Mr Shorey and family members visited the crash site late on Wednesday.
They hugged, cried, laughed, prayed and played some of the boys’ favourite music.
Afterwards he bravely spoke about his two sons, remembering their precious lives that were cut short.
The boys’ father Joseph Shorey (pictured in blue) made an emotional visit to the scene on Wednesday
He also hit out at the allegations Dunn was doing burnouts and donuts in the street in the moments before the crash, telling hoon drivers: ‘It’s not cool’
He also hit out at the allegations Dunn was doing burnouts and donuts in the street in the moments before the crash, telling hoon drivers: ‘It’s not cool’.
‘That is not cool, all you young fellas out there doing that, it’s not cool, because there are consequences if you do something stupid and wrong,’ Mr Shorey said.
‘Don’t drive around stupid, drive around smart. You want to do donuts go and join a race club and do them there. Don’t do them on the streets.
‘Sheldon’s only six, he’ll be seven next month on the 12th. Shane was only seven, he was turning eight on Friday… two more days.’
Family and friends gathered to support the family of two young boys killed in the horror crash