JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Eight teenagers were killed and another eight injured when a car driven by a 22-year-old woman rammed into them while they were cycling in the early hours of Saturday (Feb 18).
Six of the casualties were killed on the spot, while two died on their way to Hospital Sultanah Aminah, said Johor Baru South OCPD Asst Comm Police Sulaiman Salleh.
Two of those injured are in critical condition.
All 16 involved in the accident are aged between 13 and 17.
ACP Sulaiman said the accident took place at around 3.30am on Saturday near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetery.
He said according to the driver, the teenagers were in the middle of the road, which was dark at that time.
The teenagers are believed to be members of a joyriding cycling group.
The Johor Education Department said it was aware of the existence of such cycling groups, but did not have any information on their numbers or why students joined them.
"We want to reach out to these students and advise them to give up the habit of joyriding at night," Director Saharudin Sharif told reporters outside the mortuary.
He said members of the cycling groups made various modifications to their bicycles, including having the brakes removed.
"They normally travel in groups of 10 or more," said Mr Saharudin.
Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar visited the families of the deceased at the mortuary on Saturday.
The sultan, who was in tears when speaking to the families, told them to monitor their children's whereabouts at all times and not to simply allow them to roam the streets, especially at night.
"Don't let it come to a situation where we cry for our children instead of the other way around.
"I myself have lost a son who will not return. I understand your feelings," he told the families before reciting a prayer.