Charges have been laid against 47-year-old truck driver involved in Eastern Freeway Crash.

A 47-year-old truck driver has been charged with culpable driving over the Melbourne freeway crash that killed four police officers.

The Cranbourne man was charged with four counts of culpable driving over last Wednesday’s fatal collision, police said in a statement early on Monday.

He had been in hospital until Sunday night. The driver was charged after a joint investigation by the major collision investigation unit and the homicide squad.

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.

Porsche driver Richard Pusey, 41, has been charged with nine offences, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance and drug possession.

Victoria’s Police Commissioner on the TODAY show. Post continues below.

Video by Nine

It is alleged that the truck was travelling at 100kph at the time of the collision.

He remains in custody on remand.

The truck driver is due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

Everything we know about the Eastern Freeway Crash

The sun was only just setting on Wednesday, April 22, when two police officers intercepted a Porsche on the Chandler Highway at Kew, on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, at 5:40pm.

The car had been speeding, and the two police stopped in the emergency lane of the freeway, calling for backup after deciding to impound the luxury car.

Shortly after two more officers arrived, the group was ploughed into from behind by a refrigerated semi-trailer.

All four died at the scene.

On Thursday afternoon, we learned their names: Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney.

In a statement to the Herald Sun, Victorian Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the officers were undertaking everyday duties 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.”

The grandmother of Constable Josh Prestney told The Herald Sun the 28-year-old had only just begun working as a police officer: “He was just on a stint before being at Kew station. He had only started on this on Tuesday.”


Wednesday night’s tragedy was the single deadliest incident in Victoria Police history.

Previously the state’s largest police casualty was the Kelly Gang’s murder of Sergeant Michael Kennedy and constables Thomas Lonigan and Michael Scanlan in 1878.

Images from the scene show a damaged police highway patrol car and an SUV alongside a huge, white truck. The crumbled Porsche can be seen under the semi trailer, next to a blue tarp.

A witness who watched it all unfold told 9NEWS it was “utter carnage”.

The driver of the Porsche, a 41-year-old with an extensive criminal history, was uninjured and fled the scene on foot, while the truck driver is under police guard in hospital after suffering a “medical episode”. It’s not clear whether the episode occurred before or after the crash.

The Porsche driver reportedly handed himself into police in Melbourne on Thursday morning and was arrested, according to The Herald Sun.

Homicide detectives had to attend the horrific scene of their deceased colleagues, with Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton describing “an eerie quiet that sometimes you don’t see at crime scenes”.

Their deaths have shocked the force, with other colleagues forced to deliver the news to family and loved ones on Wednesday night.

“These police officers were doing something that we do 10 times, 20 times, 30 times a shift – intercepting a motor vehicle on the side of the road, this is the bread and butter of policing,” said Police Association Victoria Secretary Wayne Gatt.

“This isn’t the stuff that you go to do and expect to be killed doing. But each and every time a police officer does that for the next little while, they’ll have this in the back of their minds, there’s no doubt,” he said.

Speaking to the Today Show this morning, Mr Gatt added, “the police force is waking up feeling numb, the members, the men and women of Victoria Police [will be] challenged deeply by this”.

Teams were deployed to police stations to support officers who attended the scene and those personally impacted by the deaths, with Gatt pointing out that every police station in Victoria will have some link to at least one of the four officers.

“It has just floored us. When something like this happens in policing it does send shockwaves around the force. It is one big family and that family transcends borders across the county, across the country and around the world,” he said.

“Tonight, somewhere in our city, four families’ hearts are breaking. Our hearts are breaking with them,” Premier Daniel Andrews said last night, after hearing the news.

“We grieve alongside them – just as we grieve with every member of Victoria Police and every member of our emergency services family.

“We will always call them heroes.”

The Prime Minister tweeted, “Awful, heart-breaking news that four police officers have been killed while on duty in Melbourne tonight. My deepest sympathies go out to their families, fellow officers and friends at this terrible time”.

With AAP. 

Image via AAP. 

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