A speeding Porsche driver who allegedly fled unharmed from a crash scene where four police officers were killed has been charged with a raft of offences.
Mortgage broker Richard Pusey, 41, was interviewed by police late on Thursday and is expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday morning.
He is facing ten charges including:
- Driving at a dangerous speed
- Reckless conduct endangering life
- Failing to remain after a drug test
- Failing to render assistance
- Failing to exchange details
- Possessing a drug of dependence
- Destruction of evidence
- Three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail
It’s alleged Pusey had been speeding at 140km/h and tested positive for drugs when police pulled him over on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway in Kew on Wednesday evening.
A passing refrigerated truck veered to the left and hit the group at 100km/h as they stood in the emergency lane, killing the four officers.
Police allege Pusey took photos of the gruesome crash scene, which included images of the police bodies, and shared them on Facebook before they were removed.
The accident which killed four Victoria Police constables is the biggest loss of lives in a single incident in the force’s history.
Victoria Police on Thursday night paid tribute to each of the victims –
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
Two of the officers were recent graduates and each of the four were loved and respected by their colleagues.
“Senior Constable Kevin King was with Victoria Police for six years, working at several stations in and around Melbourne before joining the Nunawading Highway patrol in 2018,” Victoria Police posted on Twitter.
“He had a great sense of humour, loved coming to work, and he loved what he did. Kevin is survived by his wife Sharron Mackenzie, and their three children, William, James and Henry.”
Victoria Police said 28-eight year old Constable Joshua Prestney completed a Bachelor in Creative Industries at the Australian College of the Arts prior to joining Victoria Police in May 2019.
“His brother, First Constable Alexander Prestney, is also a police officer and presented Josh with his badge when he graduated in December last year,” it said.
“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.”
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor had a distinguished 31-year career with Victoria Police, joining in January 1989 and graduating in May of that year, Victoria Police said.
“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,” it addd.
“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.
Victoria Police said Constable Glen Humphris came to Victoria and began his policing career in 2019, after first gaining a series of accomplishments in other fields.
“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,” it said.
“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.
“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.”
The truck driver suffered a medical episode after the crash and is in hospital under police guard, and was still not fit to be questioned.
Police raided the truck driver’s Cranbourne home on Wednesday night and are yet to reveal what they found.
The Victoria Police In Memorium Facebook page was flooded with posts on Thursday evening paying respects to the officers, including from past and present police.
Flags were also flying at half-mast and landmarks lit up in blue across Victoria on Thursday in honour of the officers.