One of the heart-rending images from a driver’s murderous rampage through Melbourne’s CBD was that of a child’s battered pram wedged into the maroon Commodore used to kill four people and injure more than 20 others.
Former Victoria Police commissioner Christine Nixon just happened to be on Bourke Street as the car came crashing to a halt near the corner of William Street, with police a few seconds behind firing shots.
“I think what has happened is [the child] has then been thrown … out of the pram and been dragged along with the car.
“I thought when I turned the stroller over that the child might’ve been in it, but luckily it wasn’t.”
Ms Nixon said she thought the mother and child had been hit further up Bourke Street.
Four people, including a 10-year-old child, were killed during the incident, with more – including four more children – in hospital.
Witnesses said the driver had shown “no hesitation” as he ploughed through the pedestrian precinct of Melbourne’s CBD, sending people scattering and “flying like skittles” in what police believe was a deliberate act.
— Solf (@sunprawn) January 20, 2017
Mohammed Minhaz was waiting at the intersection of Bourke and Queen streets when he saw the car drive onto the footpath and the pedestrian crossing, hitting three people.
“He just was driving, he didn’t stop for anyone. The people were flying,” Mr Minhaz said.
“He hit one person on the footpath.”
Another eyewitness saw the moment the driver veered toward pedestrians.
“There was no hesitation, which is something I’ve seen in car accidents before and … it was an odd thing to see. He was just collecting people as he was going along they were just flying like Skittles basically,” she said.
“There was no hesitancy as he got to the crowds, he didn’t swerve, he just drove right through them.”
— ABC News 24 (@ABCNews24) January 20, 2017
The driver began at the busy intersection in front of Federation Square, doing burnouts before heading four blocks down Swanston Street, which is closed to cars.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he saw the car try to turn down Collins Street from Swanston Street but the driver was deterred by the bollards in place.
“It was just horrific, you think about how busy Swanston St is at any time of day, but lunchtime on a Friday.”
— Melbourne News (@MelbourneBrk) January 20, 2017
A teenage witness told The New Daily she and a friend both scrambled into the doorways of two Swanston Street shops just as the car sped past.
“The car was speeding along the tram tracks, going really fast, and then it just swerved onto the footpath and people were diving everywhere to avoid being hit,” she said.
“I saw this father scramble to push his kid out of the way, otherwise the kid would’ve been run over.
“Then the police cars drove through and everyone was just in shock, kind of not believing what had happened, and just checking to see if everyone was alright, or if anyone had been hit.”