The truck involved in the fatal Kew crash on the Eastern Freeway which killed four police officers on the spot was being driven by an Indian Australian – Mohinder Singh Bajwa. The 47-year-old Mohinder has been charged with culpable driving over the crash.
The Cranbourne man Mohinder has appeared in court charged with four counts of culpable driving over the fatal collision.
Shortly after the crash Mohinder was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Victorian police commissioner, Graham Ashton, said Mohinder had had a medical episode at the scene when he was scene pacing up and down in a traumatic state. Mohinder was tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol as part of the inquiry.
According to Victoria police, Mohinder’s truck moved from one of the freeway’s traffic lanes into the emergency lane where the police cars were parked. His truck slammed into the back of the highway patrol car at about 100km/h.
Sounding ‘bizarre’, Mohinder has said he was trying to avoid hitting a “witch” when he swerved across several lanes on the Eastern Freeway, The Herald Sun reported.
Charges against Mohinder were laid following a joint investigation by the major collision investigation unit and the homicide squad.
Mohinder did not apply for bail when he appeared before Melbourne magistrates court. He has been remanded to reappear on 1 October.
Mohinder looked down at his feet throughout the brief court hearing.
His defence lawyer, Steven Pica, said Mohinder would require psychiatric treatment while in custody, and was “stressed and saddened” by the result of the crash.
Pica said Mohinder had previously suffered from panic attacks and anxiety and was believed to have had an undiagnosed psychological disorder throughout his life.
The prosecution requested the hearing be delayed until October due to the time required to compile a detailed brief, including reconstruction of the accident and obtain reports from overseas.
Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney died when Mohinder’s truck crashed into them while they were dealing with Richard Pusey in an emergency lane on the Eastern Freeway at Kew.
On the night of the accident, Mohinder’s Cranbourne home was searched by police. The results of that search have not been made public.
According to Victoria police, two more search warrants had been executed at addresses related to the company Connect Logistics, the company Mohinder worked for. The truck Mohinder was driving carried the logo of Connect Logistics.
Victoria police said the two residential addresses in Croydon and Frankston were in relation to national heavy vehicle laws.
“What [the heavy vehicle laws] are there for is about a chain of responsibility, so they relate to heavy vehicles that are more than 4.5 tonnes. It’s to ensure that people have responsibilities and companies make sure that … drivers keep to hours and the vehicles are ride worthy,” the police has said.
Police did not rule out the possibility of more charges being laid.
Richard Pusey, who was he driver of the Porsche the police were speaking to at the time of the tragic crash, has been charged with nine offences, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance and drug possession.
The court heard Pusey allegedly filmed himself taunting Senior Constable Lynette Taylor as she lay dying.
Pusey allegedly walked up to her and said: “There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing.
“All I wanted was to go home and have my sushi and now you’ve fucked my fucking car.”
Pusey also allegedly tested positive for ice and cannabis and was urinating on the side of the freeway when the truck smashed into four officers impounding his Porsche 911.
Pusey allegedly fled the scene and was arrested the next day. He remains in custody on remand.
While there is a possibility of more charges being laid as a result of police investigation, against Connect Logistics bosses and/or Mohinder, there is more to come.