The truck driver at the centre of a horrific crash that left four police officers dead says he was avoiding a ‘witch’ when he swerved across several lanes of a Melbourne freeway and ploughed into them.
Mohinder Singh, 47, has been receiving psychiatric treatment at Melbourne Assessment Prison since the tragedy unfolded on the Eastern Freeway at Kew on April 22.
Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney all died at the scene.
They had pulled over a Porsche 911 and were in the process of impounding the car after its driver, Richard Pusey, was allegedly clocked at 149km/h and tested positive for drugs.
The truck slammed into the back of a highway patrol car and into the officers at 100km/h, with Singh suffering a medical episode that saw him black out after impact.
He has been charged with culpable driving causing the deaths of the four officers.
Singh is understood to have a pre-existing mental health issue, with a prison source telling the Herald Sun the father-of-two was suffering anxiety and panic attacks in custody.
Mohinder Singh claimed he swerved into the emergency lane on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway to avoid hitting a witch before smashing into four police officers
Four officers were killed when Singh’s refrigeration truck crashed into their highway patrol car on April 22
‘He is an unwell man,’ the source said. ‘He reported that he’d sighted a witch while he was driving and veered into the emergency lane.’
Two ice pipes were allegedly found in his truck, but the results of his blood tests are yet to be revealed.
On Tuesday afternoon, police stormed the offices of Connect Logistics, the trucking company Singh worked for, in the Riverstone Business Park in Sydney.
Officers from Victoria’s Heavy Vehicle Unit Crime Investigation Unit raided its headquarters with NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Crash investigators, seizing documents including logbooks in the two raids.
Police said no arrests were made, but the investigation is ongoing.
Searches were carried out on the same company in Croydon in Melbourne’s east and Frankston in the city’s south-east on April 27.
Another warrant was executed in the neighbouring suburb of Kenthurst in Sydney’s far north-western fringe.
Earlier this week, Singh said he was ‘genuinely sorry and saddened’ about the police officers’ deaths through a statement released by his lawyer Steve Pica.
Police raided the offices of Connect Logistics – the company involved in a deadly crash on a Melbourne Freeway - in Sydney’s Riverstone Business Park (pictured)
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
‘Mr Singh is genuinely sorry and saddened that four people have lose their lives as a result of the collision,’ the short statement from Mr Pica reads.
‘He is acutely aware of the impact upon the families, friends and work colleagues of those that lost their lives.’
Singh didn’t speak and had kept his head down when he faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday last week.
The fallen officers were farewelled in private funeral services over the past week.
Pusey, a 41-year-old Porsche fanatic, was charged with failing to give assistance at the scene of a crash, which carries up to 10 years’ jail, along with driving and drug offences.
The officers had pulled over Richard Pusey (pictured), who was allegedly speeding down the Eastern Freeway at 149km/h and tested positive for meth and marijuana
The police car was crushed by the refrigeration truck, killing four police officers while Pusey survived as he was urinating in a nearby bush
He also faces charges over allegations he filmed Senior Constable Taylor and taunted the officers as they lay dying.
‘There you go. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have my sushi. And now you f**ked my f**king car,’ he allegedly said while filming the dying officers.
Pusey insists the case against him is a conspiracy.
The mortgage broker dodged death because he was urinating in a nearby bush at the time of impact.
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.
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