Parents of fallen police officer who was killed in Melbourne horror crash pay tribute to his life

0
6

The devastated parents of a brave police officer killed in the Melbourne horror smash have paid tribute to their ‘beautiful son’, days after he died in the line of duty.

Constable Josh Prestney, 28, was mowed down by a truck on Wednesday and died alongside three of his colleagues.

His parents, Andrew and Belinda, as well as his brother Alex, said ‘their hearts bleed’ for his long-term girlfriend Stacey, saying she had ‘lost her angel’ and the couple had been ‘perfect for one another’.

In a heartbreaking tribute, his mum and dad also spoke of their own grief, saying they were ‘broken’ and that the pain had ‘taken their breath away’. 

The proudest moment of their lives, they explained, is when their son graduated from the police academy last year, with fellow officer Alex presenting his badge. 

Constable Prestney died alongside Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris and Senior Constable Kevin King on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway.

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, right) is seen with his partner Stacey (left), with his distraught family saying the pair were ‘perfect for one another’

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, far right) was described as 'an angel' by his devastated parents, Andrew and Belinda (centre), as well as his brother Alex (left)

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, far right) was described as ‘an angel’ by his devastated parents, Andrew and Belinda (centre), as well as his brother Alex (left)

In the tragic crash on Wednesday night, four officers were waiting to impound a driver’s Porsche after it was pulled over for speeding at 140km/h near Kew.

But the group were soon ploughed into by a truck as they stood on the roadside, while the car’s owner – Richard Pusey – allegedly fled on foot. 

‘Alex has lost his best friend, big brother and offsider,’ Constable Prestney’s family said in a heartbreaking statement on Saturday. 

‘Josh’s partner Stacey has lost her angel; they were perfect for one another and had made plans for their future together. Our heart bleeds for her.

‘As his parents, Andrew and I are broken.

‘The thought of never hearing his guitar playing throughout the house, never sharing our sporting adventures together again, never going to the football with him again, never laughing over silly family jokes with him again breaks our hearts and fills us with a pain that has taken our breath away.’ 

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, left) is seen being awarded with his badge at his police graduation ceremony in December by his proud brother Alex (right)

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, left) is seen being awarded with his badge at his police graduation ceremony in December by his proud brother Alex (right)

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, left) was planning for a future with his partner Stacey (right) when he was tragically killed in a road crash while on duty

Constable Josh Prestney (pictured, left) was planning for a future with his partner Stacey (right) when he was tragically killed in a road crash while on duty

In a remarkably brave gesture, the family spoke of their unimaginable pain and paid tribute to their son’s fun and adventurous life, saying he was an ‘amazing guitarist’ who loved hard rock and metal music. 

He was a dedicated sports fan, and was described as a passionate triathlete himself.

‘In 1991 a bright light came into our world in the form of our beautiful son Joshua,’ his family continued.

‘For his dad, a best mate, for his mum, a protector and someone who never ceased to make us smile. 

‘From the start he was a creative, insightful, loving and genuine soul. He was blessed with many talents that he nurtured and developed with persistence and drive.

‘Music was at the heart of everything he did; it made him who he was in so many ways. 

‘Josh was a passionate Collingwood supporter who had many animated discussions about players and the statistics of the game with his dad Andrew and brother Alex. 

‘He cried all the way home after the 2002 Grand Final loss, as a 10 year old. 

Josh Prestney (pictured, left, with girlfriend Stacey, right) was described as her 'angel', with his parents saying the couple were 'perfect for one another'

Josh Prestney (pictured, left, with girlfriend Stacey, right) was described as her ‘angel’, with his parents saying the couple were ‘perfect for one another’

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin (pictured, far left) King, and Constable Josh Prestney were all killed.

Senior Constable Kevin King (pictured, far left), Constable Glen Humphris (second from left), Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor (second from right) and and Constable Josh Prestney (far right) all died in the crash on Wednesday night

‘He was the same way with basketball, playing as a junior and becoming an avid Melbourne United and LA Lakers fan. Josh loved competing in triathlons, having completed 2 full Ironman events. 

‘He loved his long distance running and cycling, especially when doing this with his dad, with whom he often travelled to compete.’

His devastated family said that when Constable Prestney graduated from the police academy in December 2019, with his badge presented by older brother Alex – himself in the force – it had been ‘the proudest moment of their lives’.  

‘We love you Josh, forever and always,’ the tribute ended. 

On Friday, Constable Humphris’ partner of four years, Todd Robinson shared an emotional tribute to the officer, saying he loved his job and had ‘a smile that lit up any room’.

Constable Glen Humphris (pictured) only started his police career last year but was tragically killed on Wednesday afternoon

Constable Glen Humphris (pictured) only started his police career last year but was tragically killed on Wednesday afternoon

Constable Humphris’ devastated partner Todd Robinson (pictured) addressed the media on Friday afternoon - paying tribute to his 'soulmate'

Constable Humphris’ devastated partner Todd Robinson (pictured) addressed the media on Friday afternoon – paying tribute to his ‘soulmate’

Mr Robinson had been preparing dinner at their home when he heard the news about the crash, but was still expecting his partner to walk through the door. 

 ‘I was expecting him to come home, and he didn’t,’ Mr Robinson said.

‘I’ve lost my soulmate’.

He assumed his partner was busy controlling the scene of the accident when he first heard reports about it on the news.  

‘But after two hours of nothing being heard it was confirmed on TV four had been killed,’ Mr Robinson told reporters.

‘It was then I got a knock on the door.’

He said that his partner’s smile could ‘light up any room’ and he was proud to be a Victoria Police officer. 

‘He loved helping people,’ he said.

Todd Robinson (pictured), the partner of Constable Glen Humphris, gave an emotional tribute to his late partner on Friday, after he was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday

Todd Robinson (pictured), the partner of Constable Glen Humphris, gave an emotional tribute to his late partner on Friday, after he was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday

‘He wore a uniform but he was a person under that uniform. He came home to someone and that day he didn’t.’

Constable Glen Humphris only started his police career last year, graduating from the academy in March.

Born in Gosford, on the NSW Central Coast, he left school and became an apprentice carpenter and then a personal trainer.

He completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at University of Newcastle and obtained a Masters in Exercise Physiology at the University of Sydney, becoming a sports scientist and exercise physiologist.  

Four police officers were killed when they were struck by a truck (pictured at the scene) in Melbourne, marking the greatest loss of police life in a single incident in Victoria's history

Four police officers were killed when they were struck by a truck (pictured at the scene) in Melbourne, marking the greatest loss of police life in a single incident in Victoria’s history

The police car that arrived at the scene (pictured) was crushed by a refrigeration truck - killing four police officers who were standing by the roadside

The police car that arrived at the scene (pictured) was crushed by a refrigeration truck – killing four police officers who were standing by the roadside

While working for Return to Work in Newcastle he met his partner of four years, Todd, and they moved to Melbourne last year.

‘He enjoyed the food and bar lifestyle of Melbourne and he continued to have a passion for exercise, competing in triathlons and maintaining a high level of fitness,’ his obituary read.

‘His squad mates said he genuinely wanted to help people, had a great sense of community and genuine empathy for everyone – victim and offender alike.

‘Glen is remembered as being very level-headed, caring and supportive with a great sense of humour and had the ability to make light of any situation to calm people.’

His partner’s moving words come amid claims that the truck driver who ploughed into the officers allegedly had an ice pipe inside his cabin.

Police are investigating whether truck driver Mohinder Singh Bajwa (pictured with his wife) was under the influence of drugs at the time

Chicken truck driver Mohinder Singh Bajwa blacked out following the accident on the Eastern Freeway near Kew, Melbourne, on Wednesday evening

Police are investigating whether truck driver Mohinder Singh Bajwa (pictured) was under the influence of drugs at the time of the horror Eastern Freeway crash

Police are investigating whether Mohinder Singh Bajwa was under the influence of an illicit substance after an ice pipe was found inside the front cabin, sources say.  

Mohinder Singh Bajwa was behind the wheel of the refrigerated chicken truck on Wednesday afternoon when he ploughed into the two police cars.

The Herald Sun reports that just moments after the crash, Mr Singh Bajwa was heard to say: ‘I was looking down in the cabin and I looked up and they were just there.’

He then suffered a medical episode, collapsing to the ground.

Investigators believe the truck (pictured) veered into the freeway emergency lane at a speed of about 100km/h

Investigators believe the truck (pictured) veered into the freeway emergency lane at a speed of about 100km/h 

Richard Pusey, 41, the Porsche driver at the centre of a crash that killed four police officers, has been charged with a litany of offences

Richard Pusey, 41, the Porsche driver at the centre of a crash that killed four police officers, has been charged with a litany of offences

Mr Singh Bajwa, from Cranbourne in Melbourne’s south-east, remains under police guard in hospital, two days after veering into the freeway emergency lane near Kew at a speed of about 100km/h.

He is reported to have suffered a ‘medical episode’ and ‘blacked out’ following the crash and has been unable to speak to police – with an interview not likely until at least Monday.

‘He’s unfit to be interviewed at this stage. We don’t know whether that will be today or in the next couple of days,’ Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said on Friday.

‘The families are obviously shattered and need answers,’ he added. 

Someone had written 'how's get f***ed sound pig c***' under Pusey's intercom (pictured)

Someone had written ‘how’s get f***ed sound pig c***’ under Pusey’s intercom (pictured)

Meanwhile, Porsche driver Pusey’s home has been vandalised after he allegedly left the four police officers to die in the horrific crash, even taunting them in their final moments.

Pusey’s Melbourne apartment was spray painted overnight and threats were written across a roller door on the converted warehouse.    

A message telling the 41-year-old to ‘DIE’ was painted on a roller door at his home in Fitzroy in the inner city, Weekend Today reported. 

Another message read ‘how’s get f***ed sound pig c***’ under Pusey’s intercom.

His girlfriend, who also lives in the $3 million converted warehouse, is believed to have called police at 4am on Saturday.

The spray paint message on the roller door told Pusey to 'DIE' (pictured) after he was alleged to have taunted a dying police officer

The spray paint message on the roller door told Pusey to ‘DIE’ (pictured) after he was alleged to have taunted a dying police officer

The mortgage broker was pulled over on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway on Wednesday night after allegedly speeding his Porsche at 149km/h.

After the horror smash Pusey is accused of taunting and filming a dying officer, before posting graphic images to Facebook after fleeing the accident. 

He is understood to have only escaped death himself as he was urinating by the side of the road. 

He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday where he was charged with nine offences relating to the accident and did not apply for bail.

Pusey tested positive to cannabis and ice, police said, and his charges included speeding, reckless conduct and drug possession.

Four slain police officers remembered  

 Constable Josh Prestney

Constable Prestney, 28, only graduated from the academy in November when he was killed, having joined the force in May 2019.

‘Josh was a much loved and respected member of his squad,’ his obituary read.

‘His brother, First Constable Alexander Prestney, is also a police officer and presented Josh with his badge when he graduated in December last year.’

‘In his spare time Josh enjoyed keeping fit and trained for and competed in triathlons. He is survived by his parents Andrew and Belinda, and his brother, First Constable Alex Prestney.’

Constable Prestney completed a Bachelor in creative industries at the Australian College of the Arts before joining and was stationed at Boroondara.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor

Senior Constable Taylor, 60, had a distinguished 31-year career with Victoria Police, joining in January 1989 and graduating in May of that year.

She was recognised by the Chief Commissioner for good work while performing duties at the traffic camera office.

She also earned the National Medal first clasp, National Police Service medal and the Victoria Police Service medal fourth clasp.

Senior Constable Taylor is survived by her husband, a former Victoria Police officer, Stuart Schultz and their two sons, Nathan and Alexander.

‘Having travelled the world, Lynette is remembered for having a great sense of adventure and has instilled this spirit in her children,’ her obituary read.

‘She spent a year sailing around the South Pacific on a yacht, which she continued to live on for a period when she returned.

‘Lynette and her husband Stuart were building their dream retirement home overlooking Bass Strait on Victoria’s south east coast, which would support their passion for travel and fishing.’

Lynette was the primary carer for her sister who had recently suffered a stroke, and this reflected her caring nature, which extended to those she worked with.

‘Lynette had a reputation of going into bat for others and challenging decisions that she believed were unfair.

‘She had a great sense of humour and her colleagues will fondly remember seeing her smiling face every day.’

Constable Glen Humphris

Constable Humphris also only started his police career last year, graduating in March.

Born in Gosford, on the NSW Central Coast, he left school and became an apprentice carpenter and then a personal trainer.

He completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at University of Newcastle and obtained Masters in Exercise Physiology at the University of Sydney, becoming a sports scientist and exercise physiologist.

While working for Return to Work in Newcastle he met his partner of four years, Todd, and they moved to Melbourne last year.

‘He enjoyed the food and bar lifestyle of Melbourne and he continued to have a passion for exercise, competing in triathlons and maintaining a high level of fitness,’ his obituary read.

‘His squad mates said he genuinely wanted to help people, had a great sense of community and genuine empathy for everyone – victim and offender alike.

‘Glen is remembered as being very level-headed, caring and supportive with a great sense of humour and had the ability to make light of any situation to calm people.’

Senior Constable Kevin King

Senior Constable King was with Victoria Police for six years, working at several stations in and around Melbourne before joining the Nunawading Highway patrol in April 2019.

‘Kevin was passionate about road policing and knew that it was not just about giving out tickets,’ his obituary read.

He transferred to the Nunawading Highway Patrol in 2018 where the officer in charge described him as ‘an older head with a lot of life experience who always made good judgement calls and decisions’.

‘He was a terrific bloke. A lovely, all round good bloke who took to road policing immediately. He would do anything in his power to not let you down,’ it continued.

‘He always just wanted to laugh, have a good time, and talk about footy. It’s just devastating to lose a bloke like that.’

The 50-year-old father-of-three was well liked, well respected and well regarded by his colleagues, police said.

‘He had a great sense of humour, loved coming to work, and he loved what he did.

Senior Constable King is survived by his wife Sharron Mackenzie, and their three children, William, James and Henry.

 

Credit: Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here