Police have raided the Melbourne home of the driver of a refrigerated chicken truck which ploughed into police cars killing four officers.
Mohinder Singh Bajwa, from Cranbourne in the city’s south-east, suffered a medical episode and blacked out following the deadly crash on the Eastern Highway near Kew on Wednesday evening.
The police officers had pulled over a Porsche 911 which was allegedly speeding at 140km/h about 4.50pm. About 50 minutes later, Mr Bajwa’s semi-trailer veered into the emergency lane and struck the stopped cars, police said.
Three male officers – including a 28-year-old in his first week on the job – and a female senior constable were killed.
Chicken truck driver Mohinder Singh Bajwa blacked out following the accident on the Eastern Freeway near Kew, Melbourne, on Wednesday evening
Mr Bajwa – pictured with his wife – is under police guard in hospital. Victoria Police are yet to determine what led to the deadly crash
Mortgage broker Richard Pusey, 41, from Frankston was allegedly behind the wheel of the speeding Porsche which was pulled over by police prior to the deadly crash
Deadly crash: Four police officers were killed in the incident on the Eastern Highway near Kew, Melbourne about 4.50pm on Wednesday. Above, the truck and smashed up Porsche 911
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney have been named as the dead.
The Porsche driver has since been identified as mortgage broker Richard Pusey, 41, from Frankston.
He survived the crash, allegedly took video of the scene – which surfaced on social media – and fled on foot, police claimed.
Mr Pusey was arrested at Chemist Warehouse in Collingwood about 9.30am on Thursday more than 12 hours since the incident.
Truck driver Mr Bajwa was taken to hospital by a police officer after passing out in the aftermath of the crash.
He remains there under police guard, and Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said officers were yet to interview him.
Asked what caused the crash, Mr Ashton told reporters: ‘It’s too early to really say, until we speak to the driver.’
‘He is from Cranbourne and we did a warrant through the night at his premises. What was found at that premises is still the subject of ongoing investigation.’
Police took a blood sample and Mr Ashton said the truck driver did not have any sort of extensive criminal history.
Mr Ashton said crash investigators believe the truck veered into the freeway emergency lane at a speed of about 100km/h.
It travelled a short distance in the shoulder lane until it collided with the three stopped cars.
The first victim has been identified as constable Josh Prestney, 28. Mr Prestney only graduated from the academy in November (pictured)
Timeline of what happened: Officers intercepted the Porsche on the eastern Freeway about 4.50pm. By 5.40pm, the refrigeration truck had ploughed into the three cars, killing four officers
The smashed up Porsche: Police said the luxury car’s driver, 41, had an ‘extensive’ criminal history and was known to police
‘[It] slammed into the rear of the highway patrol vehicle which has caused the collision. (It) proceeded to include the investigation from the RP desk unit and indeed the 911 Porsche,’ Mr Ashton said.
‘The highway patrol vehicle was spun from that accident across the freeway into the centre of the freeway and the Porsche has wound up underneath the front of the truck.’
Police were waiting until daylight on Thursday to piece together what happened. The truck was removed from the scene this morning.
Flowers have begun piling up outsied the Boroondara Police Station in Melbourne’s north-east
Mr Bajwa’s university student son, Gurdeep, declined to comment.
‘I’m not able to talk to anyone, not able to share any comments,’ he said.
‘I’m not able to speak’.
Connect Logistics, the company which owns the truck, did not answer calls. The investigation continues.
VICTORIA POLICE STATEMENT ON THE DEAD POLICE OFFICERS
Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed the police officers who died in the tragedy were: Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney.
Mr Ashton said: ‘Their names will forever be remembered, their service honoured, and their memories celebrated.
‘These officers were undertaking their everyday duties in helping to keep the community safe when they were killed.
‘Committing one’s life to serving and protecting others is a truly unique attribute.
It takes a special person to put on the blue uniform and turn up to work each day to respond to those in need.
‘They do it to protect. They do it to make a difference.
‘It will take time for many to recover from this tragedy, but we should take comfort in knowing that we stand together as a police family and as a Victorian community.’
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