Video of a spectacular burnout that sent a cloud of bright red smoke into the sky over Warrawong has come into the hands of investigating police.
The burnout, which lasted about three minutes and left tell-tale tyre marks down Montgomery Avenue, Monday evening, came amid a raucous, hours-long wake for a killed motorcycist, Jack Kinloch.
The wake was cut short in Port Kembla later in the night, when one in the crowd was arrested and up to 20 police officers swarmed the Commercial Hotel, anticipating a backlash.
Mr Kinloch, 23, and a 58-year-old woman, Judith Humphries, suffered unsurvivable injuries when their paths crossed on Cowper Street on June 14. Mr Kinloch was riding a motorbike when he collided with Ms Humphries beside a pedestrian island.
Mourners farewelled Mr Kinloch at a funeral service at Hansen and Cole in Kembla Grange on Monday afternoon.
The Mercury understands a stationary burnout was performed on the grounds, as part of the service for the car-loving Mr Kinloch.
Afterwards, the wake continued to Warrawong’s Open Hearth Hotel, before a large crowd gathered on Montgomery Avenue, about 5.15pm.
Video posted live to Facebook by one mourner, Luke Turner, shows the highly-charged crowd preparing for the car’s vibrant show.
“If the cops do show, we should all just run out on the road,” one onlooker is heard to say.
“If the cops come, block ‘em off,” another orders. “If the coppers come, get on the road!”
To the sound of revs and repeated cries of “yeah the boys!” the car shoots up thick cloud of red smoke as it moves slowly but erratically along the roadway, flanked by supporters with mobile cameras.
Coloured burnout smoke is created by special compounds which are embedded in the raw tyre rubber, then vapourised by the temperature produced by the tyres’ movement.
Lake Illawarra Acting Inspector Paul Brodie said footage of the burnout had been made available to police, and the burnout was under investigation.
“If the burnout is linked to the wake, the irony is the person that the wake was being held for was killed in a motorcycle accident,” Insp Brodie said. “Behaviour like this posed a great danger to the public and to pedestrians and as a consequence, someone could have been seriously injured or killed.”
Up to 50 mourners continued on to Port Kembla’s Commercial Hotel, which closed early – at about 7.50pm – after 21-year-old Wollongong man was charged with refusing to leave a licensed premises, hindering police and offensive behaviour.
“During the arrest a number of other patrons have advanced on police,” Insp Brodie said.
“Police called for back-up and up to 20 police attended, at which stage the licensee has decided to close the premises.”
The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Port Kembla Local Court on July 26.