Truck driver remanded in custody over cop deaths

 

 

Accused Eastern Freeway truck driver Mohinder Singh Bajwa has appeared briefly in court charged with culpable driving over the deaths of four Victoria Police officers.

The 47-year-old from Cranbourne wore a grey jumper and looked down at the floor for much of the hearing. He did not apply for bail.

Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Mr Singh "remains distressed and saddened" by the deaths of the four officers who died when they were run down in the emergency lane of the freeway near Kew on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Singh's lawyer said his client suffers from "anxiety and panic attacks" and there is "some suggestion he has an undiagnosed psychiatric condition".

"He is in need of psychiatric assistance and counselling," Mr Singh's lawyer told the court.

Mohinder Singh Bajwa.
Mohinder Singh Bajwa.

Prosecutors asked for more time to pull together material including footage from the body cameras of the four officers and "reconstruction of the collision".

The Cranbourne man had been in hospital until Sunday night before being interviewed by police. He was charged following 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 in the emergency lane of the freeway about 5.40pm.

Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney.
Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney.

Two of the officers had earlier pulled over a Porsche driver accused of speeding. The other two arrived a short time later to assist with impounding the Porsche.

The driver of the Porsche, 41-year-old Richard Pusey, has been charged with nine offences including reckless conduct endangering life, drug possession, driving at a dangerous speed and failure to render assistance.

Mr Pusey appeared before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday and was remanded in custody until his next appearance in July.

Mr Singh will next appear for a committal mention on October 1.


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