The driver of a refrigerated chicken truck that ploughed into four police officers – killing them all – faces the possibility of 20 years in jail after he was sensationally charged over the crash on Sunday night.
Mohinder Singh Bajwa was initially taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital under police guard after he suffered a ‘medical episode’ in the wake of the horrific crash.
But on Sunday, four days after the incident, Bajwa was charged with four counts of culpable driving, and now faces a baseline sentence of nine years behind bars if found guilty.
Wednesday’s crash killed Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor and her colleagues, Kevin King, Glen Humphris, and Josh Prestney while they were on duty.
The officers had just pulled over Richard Pusey, who was allegedly speeding down the Eastern Freeway near Kew at 149km/h and returned a positive reading for ice and marijuana.
Mohinder Singh Bajwa has been charged four days after he was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital under police guard in the wake of the smash
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 last Wednesday night
Four police officers were killed when they were struck by a truck (pictured at the tragic scene) in Melbourne, marking the greatest loss of police life in a single incident in Victoria’s history
Police also allegedly found an ice pipe in Bajwa’s truck cabin, and further drug paraphanalia upon a search of his Cranbourne home following the crash.
On Sunday night, it was reported Bajwa was ‘reluctant to speak’ to detectives about how his truck veered across multiple lanes of traffic and hit the officers, who were in the emergency lane, at 100km/h.
Police had refrained from interviewing him after he ‘suffered a medical episode’ and ‘blacked out’ following the grisly crash.
In Victoria, culpable driving is the most serious traffic offence, and carries a sentence of up to 20 years.
Police must prove the driver acted either recklessly, negligently, under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Officers are yet to reveal which of the four offences they will allege Bajwa committed during his scheduled court appearance on Monday.
A motorist charged with culpable driving cannot be charged with other offences relating to the incident, like unlawful homicide or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Bajwa will face court on Monday charged with four counts of culpable driving – the most serious traffic offence in the state of Victoria
Emergency services took the bodies of the four police officers away from the scene
Police pulled over a speeding driver at 4.50pm on Wednesday, then proceeded to call for backup from highway patrol when they decided to impound the car. By 5.40pm, the refrigeration truck had ploughed into the three cars and four officers, killing them all
The four cops had pulled over a Porsche 911 driver by disgraced mortgage broker Richard Pusey which was allegedly speeding at 140km/h about 4.50pm.
About 50 minutes later, Mr Bajwa’s semi-trailer veered into the emergency lane and struck the stopped cars.
Pusey walked away unscathed because he was urinating beside a tree, and is accused of taunting Senior Constable Taylor as she lay dying.
He is also accused of filming a dying officer, before posting graphic images to Facebook after fleeing the accident.
A Melbourne court heard on Friday that rather than spring to the officers’ aid after they were hit, Pusey took pictures of the carnage and berated the police.
He allegedly filmed a groaning Leading Senior Constable Taylor, a mother-of-two, while saying: ‘There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing.’
Pusey (pictured) is alleged to have taken disturbing pictures at the crash sight, showing the officers’ lifeless bodies
Mr Bajwa – pictured with his wife – is under police guard in hospital. Victoria Police are yet to determine what led to the deadly crash
‘All I wanted was to go home and have my sushi and now you’ve ‘f***ed my f***ing car.’
After the incident, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said he was ‘disgusted’ to learn of the treatment of the officers, but vowed to piece together the events.
‘As chief commissioner, to have four officers killed last night with someone who has clearly been driving erratically on the freeway with an extensive criminal history it disgusts me,’ Commissioner Ashton said.
‘Today, when I’m spending time with the family members of those deceased officers, I can tell you it will absolutely disgust them.’
He went on to say the driver’s actions were ‘very, very low’, made worse by the decision to share photos of the grisly scene to friends.
‘If I wasn’t wearing the uniform of Chief Commissioner, I would give you far more colourful language,’ he said.
‘We will definitely be able to piece together 99.9 per cent of this. We have got a lot of information to go through in the next few days.’
Police on Thursday said it was still ‘too early’ to say what caused the crash, but more information is likely to come to light following the charges against Bajwa.
Investigators took a blood sample and Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the truck driver did not have an extensive criminal history.
The father-of-two’s university student son, Gurdeep, declined to comment on Thursday.
‘I’m not able to talk to anyone, not able to share any comments. I’m not able to speak,’ he said.
The police car that arrived at the scene was crushed by a refrigeration truck – killing four police officers who were standing by the roadside
Flowers have begun piling up outsied the Boroondara Police Station in Melbourne’s north-east
Richard Pusey’s previous charges
2007: Convicted of speeding 70km/h over the limit, fined $210
2008: Jailed for eight months, with half of it suspended for two years, and $346 compensation for intentionally causing injury. Assaulting police charge was dropped.
2014: Convicted and fined $2,000 plus $2,500 in costs for carrying out work without a building permit.
2016: Ordered to do 60 hours of community service for stalking.
2017: Fined $500 for contravening a safety intervention order
2017: Fined $200 for driving with a suspended licence.
2017: Fined $500 for emitting excessive noise from his house.
2018: Convicted and fined $750 for using a carriage service to menace.
2018: Charge of intentionally damaging property was dropped.
2020: Assault charge to be heard in court on April 30.
2020: Criminal damage with intent to be heard on June 16.
Richard Pusey, 41, the driver at the centre of a crash that killed four police officers, is a mortgage broker with an extensive criminal history
Pusey’s Fitzroy apartment was defaced by vandals on Saturday, while neighbours described him as a ‘maniac’.
‘He has no sense of normal common decency to anyone,’ one neighbour told The Herald Sun. ‘It’s just mind-boggling.’
Beneath the intercom on his $ 3million converted warehouse, Pusey scribbled the words: ‘How’s get f***ed sound pig c**t’.
Pusey, who has an extensive criminal history, would regularly blast music all through the night in his converted home which is decked out with security cameras doors and black windows to shield the outside world.
According to neighbours, the mortgage broker would spray paint profanities throughout the streets near his home, forcing council workers to clean them up.
Others claim they heard constant screams and shouting echoing from his home.
Some confessed they were scared of Pusey’s driving. He would often speed around Smith St in his Porsche ‘like a maniac’ and were aware of his hatred for police.
Footage taken a month before the fatal crash shows Pusey’s luxury Porsche speeding down the same highway.
‘Everyone knew it would eventually spiral, but we didn’t realise it would spiral this big,’ a neighbour said.
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Inside Richard Pusey’s eight-month reign of terror over a woman suffering CANCER and her tradie husband – who says the Porsche driver is an ‘angry man’ because he ‘got teased as a child over his name’
A Porsche driver who allegedly fled a crash that killed four police officers put a tradie and his cancer patient wife through eight months of hell.
Richard Pusey, 41, was pulled over for travelling at 140km/h in Melbourne about 4.50pm on Wednesday and allegedly tested positive to cannabis and ice.
A chicken truck then at 5.40pm ploughed into the group of police standing at the roadside, killing four officers while Pusey dodged death while urinating.
Pusey allegedly took photos of the devastating scene including dead and dying officers, then posted them online and fled on foot.
He was arrested at a Collingwood chemist the day after and appeared in court on Friday on nine charges, including speeding, reckless conduct and drug possession.
Richard Pusey, 41, the driver at the centre of a crash that killed four police officers, is a disgraced former mortgage broker with a criminal history
Pusey allegedly took photos of the devastating scene including dead and dying officers, then posted them on Facebook and fled on foot (his mangled Porsche 911 is pictured)
The court heard he berated Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor over the damage to his car as he filmed her clinging to life.
‘There you go. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have my sushi,’ he said in the footage.
‘And now you f**ked my f**king car.’
Pusey’s alleged behaviour did not surprise cabinet maker Lloyd Lester, who along with his wife Kim were tormented by the disgraced mortgage broker.
‘My boss said ”what kind of a dog does that’ and I said ”a pussy”,’ Mr Lester told Daily Mail Australia.
Shocking footage from March 2016 emerged on Thursday showing Pusey screaming at Ms Lester through a car window that he ‘hoped she died’ from her cancer.
‘Get some more f**king cancer you stupid f**king sl*t, I hope you f**king die,’ he could be heard yelling.
Mr Lester said he wife was severely traumatised by the incident, which originated with a dispute over a kitchen he installed for Pusey in 2015.
‘My wife only had a double mastectomy two days earlier for her breast cancer and she was holding the drain bags coming out of where her breasts used to be as he was screaming at her through the window,’ he said.
‘It was so traumatic it took her two years to recover enough to be able to sleep at night.
‘She’s really rattled by today too. She was scared to be alone, she was scared every night that he was going to break into the house.’
Pusey’s alleged behaviour did not surprise cabinet maker Lloyd Lester (left), who along with his wife Kim (right) were tormented by the disgraced mortgage broker
Mr Lester claimed the incident was a calculated attempt by Pusey to gain the upper hand in the business dispute.
‘The day before that video happened my wife said he’s coming to the showroom tomorrow to try to get me to beat him to a pulp so he could take us to the cleaners,’ he said.
‘Good thing she told me or I’d have got myself put in prison.’
Mr Lester said Pusey’s campaign of harassment lasted about eight months.
About the same time, Mr Lester said their address was posted online by a pseudonym saying ‘a paedophile lives here’.
‘My old phone number was also put on a classified ad as a “26-year-old 5ft 8in blonde new to anal, wanting more”,’ he claimed.
‘So my wife and I were getting phone calls from heavy-breathing men at 11pm for months.’
Mr Lester said his business at the time, Kitchens and Bathrooms Squared, was not out of pocket because they refused to do work that wasn’t paid for.
‘Financially we didn’t get screwed, just my wife’s mental health,’ he said.
‘He’s probably nuts because he got teased so much as a kid for his name.’
Pusey engaged another tradie, Todd Templeton (pictured with his wife), to make a new kitchen for him – then started complaining
Mr Lester said his daughter, who worked for him at the time, became a target and police took out a restraining order against Pusey on the family’s behalf.
The story began in 2014 when Pusey engaged another tradie, Todd Templeton, to make a new kitchen for him – then started complaining.
‘He kept asking us back for just small variations, more than 10 times over four months, just to delay the final payment,’ Mr Templeton told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I finally got sick of it and called him pedantic, I don’t know if he was high that day but his face just changed. From then on I was enemy number one.’
Pusey eventually failed to pay the last $6,006 and Mr Templeton took him to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
He failed to appear at the March 1, 2016 hearing, claiming, without evidence, that he had a stomach ulcer procedure that day and Mr Templeton won.
In the intervening time, Pusey contracted Mr Lester to make a whole new kitchen within months of Mr Templeton’s job.
‘We pulled out a very good kitchen that was less than a year old that obviously wasn’t good enough for him,’ Mr Lester said.
Pictured from left to right: Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Lynette Taylor,and Constable Josh Prestney, were killed in Wednesday’s crash
‘As soon as it was done he spat the dummy and we redid it twice.’
Pusey then launched a counterclaim for the $35,000 he paid Mr Lester, claiming the first kitchen was ‘not as per order, they were defective, they were of poor quality’ and the services were ‘not rendered with due skill and care’.
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed his counterclaim as an ‘abuse of process’ and the Supreme Court upheld this on appeal.
Mr Templeton said he was not surprised Pusey was accused of taking photos of the crash scene and posting them on Facebook as it was ‘right up his alley, he’s that sort of person’.
‘If you’ve got time to take photos, you’ve got time to see if they’re alive. He never cared about anyone else but himself,’ he said.
Mr Templeton claimed Pusey also had strange habits that got creepier the longer he worked for him.
‘He’d constantly send me weird videos. One was him pissing into someone’s toilet, then against someone’s wall or a pole,’ he said.
‘He prided himself on how much he was able to minimise his tax. He said he got it to like three per cent. He said whenever he saw a receipt on the ground he’d pick it up and claim it.’
A picture Pusey sent Mr Templeton during the dispute over the kitchen as he kept asking the tradesman back for small variations, more than 10 times over four months
Mr Templeton said this was for a huge fence Pusey put up and the council told him to take it down and took him to court.
‘But then he just built a bigger fence to piss them off. That’s his nature when he gets told no, he’s just a spoiled rich boy,’ he said.
Pusey appeared in a report on A Current Affair in 2016, dubbing him ‘Richie Rich’ and ‘Australia’s nastiest customer’, where the car window video was shown.
When confronted by ACA he was asked on camera: ‘Who screams at a cancer patient?’ He responded: ‘Oh right, is that what that is, is it?’
Pusey was named Australia’s 28th best mortgage broker in 2016 by industry magazine Mortgage Professional Australia.
He sold a historic building on Guildford Lane in the Melbourne CBD for $4.4million in September, after buying it in 2017 for just $2.8million and renting it to a cat cafe.
However, he is widely hated in his profession, one describing him as a ‘playboy living the fast life’.
Pusey, who ran Switch Now Home Loans until last July, bragged about his car and frequently uploaded videos of himself racing his Porsche 911.
His car, which was also filmed speeding down the same highway on March 21, also features prominently in his dozens of TripAdvisor reviews of anything from pubs to the Melbourne Airport Skybus.
‘I like to drive behind the bus in my Porsche because it doesn’t have wifi,’ he wrote in a review of the Skybus in October 2018.
‘I set the cruise control so as to allow me to social network and all that cool new age type stuff that’s all the rage.
‘Me and my Porsche enjoy the day out doing this activity.’
In another review he referred to a helicopter service as a ‘Porsche in the sky’ and again spoke of his penchant for stealing the Skybus wifi.
‘When I’m not racing my Porsche or chasing the sky bus for it’s free wifi I like to get up and dance,’ he wrote.
Pusey is extremely well travelled, having posted reviews from Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Minsk, Prague, Hong Kong, Bangkok, four cities in Ukraine, and all over Vietnam and Japan.
The shocking revelations about Pusey’s dark past come as sources claimed that police were investigating whether the driver of the chicken truck was on drugs at the time of the fatal accident.
Constable Humphris’ devastated partner Todd Robinson (pictured) addressed the media on Friday afternoon – paying tribute to his ‘soulmate’
Mohinder Singh Bajwa was behind the wheel of the semi-trailer on Wednesday afternoon when he ploughed into two police cars, who had pulled over an allegedly speeding Porsche 911.
According to insiders police officers allegedly found an ice pipe in the front cabin of the vehicle.
The Herald Sun reports that just moments after the crash, Mr Singh Bajwa was heard to say: ‘I was looking down in the cabin and I looked up and they were just there.’
He then suffered a medical episode, collapsing to the ground.
Mr Singh Bajwa, from Cranbourne in Melbourne’s south-east, remains under police guard in hospital, two days after veering into the freeway emergency lane near Kew at a speed of about 100km/h.
On Friday Constable Humphris’ devastated partner of four years, Todd Robinson, shared an emotional tribute to the officer, saying he loved his job and had ‘a smile that lit up any room’.
Mr Robinson had been preparing dinner at their home when he heard the news about the crash, but was still expecting his partner to walk through the door.
‘I was expecting him to come home, and he didn’t,’ Mr Robinson said.
Constable Glen Humphris (pictured) only started his police career last year but was tragically killed on Wednesday afternoon
‘I’ve lost my soulmate’.
He assumed his partner was busy controlling the scene of the accident when he first heard reports about it on the news.
‘But after two hours of nothing being heard it was confirmed on TV four had been killed,’ Mr Robinson told reporters.
‘It was then I got a knock on the door.’
He said that his partner’s smile could ‘light up any room’ and he was proud to be a Victoria Police officer.
‘He loved helping people,’ he said.
Tragically it may not be possible for family and friends of the fallen police officers to attend their funerals which are limited to 10 people per service to limit the spread of coronavirus.