A desperate plea has been made for dashcam footage of the horrific crash that killed four police officers as investigators try to piece together what happened.
The footage will be crucial in the case as there are no CCTV cameras on the section of Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway where the crash happened.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, and Constable Josh Prestney were all killed when a truck ploughed into them as they waited for a Porsche to be impounded on Wednesday night.
It is alleged the Porsche driver at the centre of the smash, Richard Pusey, took graphic pictures of their contorted bodies and shared them on social media before fleeing the scene.
The 41-year-old was hit with a string of charges late on Thursday night after he was allegedly clocked at 140km/h on the Freeway at Kew on Wednesday before testing positive for drugs.
Pusey (pictured) is alleged to have taken disturbing pictures at the crash sight, showing the officers’ lifeless bodies
Pusey’s Porsche (pictured) is seen destroyed after being hit by the truck on Wednesday afternoon, in a crash which killed four police officers
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said he was disgusted that images of the crash scene has been shared on social media.
Late on Thursday night, Homicide Squad detectives charged Pusey with multiple offences including reckless conduct endangering life, failing to remain after a drug test and drug possession.
Before fleeing the scene, Pusey is alleged to have taken several distressing images of their bodies strewn across the road – posting them on his Facebook page, instead of helping to save their lives.
The reason Pusey wasn’t hurt was because he had been urinating at the side of the road at the time of the crash.
In the photos – which Daily Mail Australia has seen but are too graphic to publish – an officer’s body is shown on the roof of the black Porsche.
The truck ploughed into the officer with such force one of them was thrown into the air.
Another officer is seen laid on the road, surrounded by blood, next to the truck.
Other drivers and witnesses are seen trying to help the fallen officers.
After allegedly taking the gruesome pictures, Pusey is alleged to have fled the scene on foot, but was arrested less than 24 hours later.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, and Constable Josh Prestney were all killed.
On Thursday night, Victoria Police’s chief commissioner, Graham Ashton, called the alleged posting of the pictures online ‘disgusting’.
Police pulled over a speeding driver at 4.50pm on Wednesday, then proceeded to call for backup from highway patrol when they decided to impound the car. By 5.40pm, the refrigeration truck had ploughed into the three cars and four officers, killing them all
Pusey (pictured) is alleged to have later shown the gruesome pictures to staff at a Chemists Warehouse, who called the police
‘It’s incredible, I’ve never encountered anything like it,’ he told The Project.
‘And the more you hear about that sort of behaviour, you’re just disgusted by it.
‘We’ll be making sure that when we present this person to court, ultimately, we’ll be making sure the court knows all about that behaviour that we believe took place at the scene.
‘Normally, you should be doing what any sensible person would do and that is to render assistance.
‘To just leave the scene and not render any assistance, it’s appalling behaviour in our view.’
Failing to render assistance when people have died carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Victoria Police’s chief commissioner, Graham Ashton (pictured) called the alleged posting of the pictures online ‘disgusting’ – and vowed to bring the victims’ families justice
Late on Thursday, Pusey was charged with driving dangerously at speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to remain after a drug test, failing to render assistance, fail to exchange detail, possessing a drug of dependence, destruction of evidence and three counts of commit indictable offence while on bail.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Police are urging anyone who was driving in the area who has dashcam footage, in particular the movements of the truck immediately before the collision, to come forward.
After leaving the scene, Pusey allegedly showed the pictures to staff at a Chemist Warehouse in Collingwood on Thursday morning, who then called police.
Josh Prestney (right) only graduated from the academy in December, and was described as a ‘much-loved’ member of the squad, Constable Glen Humphris (left) only started his police career last year, graduating in March
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor (right), 60, had a distinguished 31-year career with Victoria Police, joining in January 1989, while Senior Constable Kevin King (left) was described as ‘an older head with a lot of life experience
Pusey was then arrested in store, with police later seen searching his home.
He has since described as a ‘playboy’ by one Melbourne mortgage broker.
The man told the Herald Sun Pusey enjoyed showing off his Porsche and multi-million dollar home.
Mohinder Singh Bajwa, the driver of the truck – who had a ‘medical episode’ and blacked out at the scene – remains under police guard in hospital.
It comes amid reports Pusey only avoided being killed in the horror crash because he was urinating by the side of the road at the time of impact.
A Highway Patrol car pulled him over at around 4.50pm and carried out a drug test.
It is alleged he tested positive, so two more officers were called to help in impounding his Porsche.
Within minutes of the second police car arriving, Mr Bajwa’s refrigerated truck struck the three cars – and the four officers standing on the roadside.
Commissioner Ashton said he had already met with the victims’ devastated families.
‘I did have that opportunity, yes,’ he said.
‘I went today to visit of all the immediate families of the officers who we lost last night and were tragically killed in this collision.
‘They’re obviously shocked, and attempting to come to terms with everything that they’ve experienced in the last 24 hours.
‘What was left impressed upon me is what great families they were.’
He confirmed the incident began as a simple speeding check, with officers alleging the Porsche had been travelling at around 140km/h.
Commissioner Ashton police have still not had the opportunity to interview the truck’s driver, saying he ‘wasn’t ruling anything out’.
‘Initially, he had a medical episode at the scene,’ he explained.
‘He blacked out at the scene, and then was treated by ambulance officers at the scene.
‘They felt that his condition was such that he needed to go to hospital under police guard, and that’s still the case, he’s been admitted to hospital.’
Commissioner Ashton released obituaries of the four officers on Thursday evening as the police community mourned its loss.
Several devastated relatives also took to Facebook on Wednesday night to post heartbreaking tributes to their loved ones.
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.’
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
‘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.
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.
‘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 also only started his police career last year and graduated in March.
Born in Gosford, on the NSW Central Coast, he left school and became an apprentice carpenter and then a personal trainer.
While working for Return to Work in Newcastle he met his partner of four years, Todd, and they moved to Melbourne last year.
Pusey (pictured in a face mask) faces a string of potential charges including traffic offences and leaving the scene of an accident
‘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,’ his obituary read.
‘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 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’.
Senior Constable King is survived by his wife Sharron Mackenzie, and their three children, William, James and Henry.
Four police officers were killed when they were struck by a truck (pictured at the tragic scene) in Melbourne, marking the greatest loss of police life in a single incident in Victoria’s history
Fallen in the line of duty: Emotional tributes flow for the victims of horrific Melbourne crash
The first victim of the horrific crash which cost four Victorian police officers their lives has been identified as 28-year-old Josh Prestney.
Mr Prestney had only graduated from the academy last November, and was working a short stint with the road policing unit before he was to be transferred to Kew police station.
His grandmother Eliza Anderson told the Herald Sun Mr Prestney was ‘so proud to serve’ his community.
He had reportedly only started in his new role on Tuesday, the day before the accident.
‘We were so proud of you. God bless Josh. Miss you forever,’ she wrote on Facebook.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris and Senior Constable Kevin King were all also tragically killed on Wednesday night.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton paid an emotional tribute to the fallen officers on Thursday.
‘Their names will forever be remembered, their service honoured, and their memories celebrated,’ he said.
‘These officers were undertaking their everyday duties in helping to keep the community safe when they were killed.
‘They were members of our Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section and Highway Patrol. They were our colleagues, our friends, our squad mates, our family.
‘Each from different backgrounds, each with different life experiences, each with a common goal to keep the community safe.
‘Their families will never be the same and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
‘We continue to investigate this incident to ensure that we uncover every detail that led to this tragic outcome. We will do this for those we have lost and for their families.
‘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.
‘As many will attest, the everyday nature of police work can sometimes seem mundane, but this week’s events are a timely reminder of how quickly that can change.
‘No one goes to work expecting not to return home to their loved ones at the end of their shift.
‘I want to acknowledge every man and woman that has in the past and continues to serve for Victoria Police. Your contributions are recognised and respected at every level, and you should know this.
‘To the serving police officers and PSOs currently on our frontline and the staff who provide support to them, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your ongoing support and commitment to your duty.
‘It is more important now than ever, that we look after one another and speak up if we need help or someone to talk to.
‘Time and time again, I am overwhelmed by how our people rally together during the tough and challenging times – through natural disasters, state-wide emergencies, mass tragedies and the loss of our own.
‘They go where they are needed, without question and without hesitation.
‘We stand side by side in our daily response to the Victorian community. And today we stand side by side as we reflect and grieve.
‘The outpouring of community support to date has been truly remarkable and touching and on behalf of Victoria Police, I thank you for this.
‘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.’
Credit: Source link