Four police officers killed in Melbourne, Australia, truck crash
Four Australian police officers have been killed in a crash involving a truck in the city of Melbourne on 21 April 2020. The police chief for the state of Victoria said it was the worst loss of life in the history of the state's police force. Officers had pulled over a car for speeding on a motorway when the truck ploughed into them, officials said. The driver of the car, a Porsche 911 sports car, fled the scene and was being sought by police. Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the truck driver was under guard in hospital and would be tested for alcohol and drugs. He said the incident happened after two of the officers pulled over the Porsche on to the hard shoulder of Melbourne's Eastern Freeway near Kew on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, at about 17h40 local time. They decided to have the car impounded and called for other officers to assist them. Two more officers then joined them and all were standing out of their cars when the refrigerated truck drove into them and the Porsche, Ashton said. The car driver, who was not believed to have been injured, fled the scene on foot.
Truck driver Mohinder Singh has appeared in court charged with culpable driving over the Melbourne freeway crash that killed the four police officers. The 47-year-old Cranbourne man was charged with four counts of culpable driving over last Wednesday’s fatal collision, police said early on Monday, 27 April 2020. Shortly after the crash on Wednesday the truck driver was taken to hospital under police guard with non-life-threatening injuries. The Victorian police commissioner, Graham Ashton, said he had had a medical episode at the scene and had been tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol as part of the inquiry.
The driver, who was in hospital until Sunday night, was charged after a joint investigation by the major collision investigation unit and the homicide squad. Singh appeared before Melbourne magistrates court on Monday and did not apply for bail. He has been remanded to reappear on 1 October 2020.
Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney died when a truck crashed into them while they were dealing with a Porsche driver in an emergency lane on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway at Kew.
Commissioner Ashton previously said the truck moved from one of the freeway’s traffic lanes into the emergency lane where the police cars were parked. The truck slammed into the back of the highway patrol car at about 100km/h.
The driver of the Porsche, Richard Pusey, has been charged with nine offences, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance and drug possession. The court heard Pusey allegedly filmed himself taunting Taylor as she lay dying. Pusey allegedly walked up to her and said: “There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing. All I wanted was to go home and have my sushi and now you’ve f*@#ed my f*@#ing car.”
He also allegedly tested positive for ice and cannabis and was urinating on the side of the freeway when the truck smashed into four officers impounding his Porsche 911. Pusey allegedly fled, before asking a witness for a ride to his home suburb of Fitzroy. He was arrested the next day. He remains in custody on remand.
Sources: BBC and The Guardian