Police body cam footage reveals dying officer’s last moments
At 5.06pm on Wednesday in the emergency lane of Melbourne's Eastern Freeway, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor switched on her body camera.
Roughly 36 minutes later, the 60-year-old with a distinguished 31-year career was pinned by a semi-trailer and begging for help.
But help never came. Police allege the one person who could have offered assistance told Constable Taylor he just wanted to go home and eat sushi.
And those words, the last she would ever hear, were recorded by her body camera.
Richard Pusey, 41, had been pulled over by Constable Taylor for allegedly driving at 140km/h. Police also allege a drug test recorded traces of methamphetamine and cannabis in his system.
As she lay dying on the side of the road, police say Mr Pusey 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 "f***ed my f***ing car."
The mortgage broker from Fitzroy, whose Porsche 911 was crushed in the crash, was uninjured.
He allegedly collected two iPhones from his vehicle, recorded footage of Constable Taylor and three other officers - all of whom died in the crash - and fled the scene.
In court on Friday, a police informant said Mr Pusey sent the footage from the crash site to another party and joked that he hoped to get out of the fine.
He was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with driving with speed, dangerous, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to remain after a drug test, failing to render assistance, failing to exchange detail, possessing drug of dependence, destruction of evidence and three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail.
Supported in court by his wife, Mr Pusey did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to reappear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 16.
Lawyers for the 41-year-old said he has mental health issues.
The truck that killed Constable Taylor also hit and killed Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney.
The driver, Cranbourne man Mohinder Singh Bajwa, had a medical episode after veering into emergency lane about 5.42pm.
He blacked out, police say, and was taken to hospital where he remains under police guard. Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Patton on Friday said Mr Bajwa was not yet in a condition to give an interview to detectives. He has not been charged.
"We don't really know what has caused that truck to crash into the cars and subsequently cause the death of the police officers so we do have a fully open mind on it," Mr Patton told 3AW.
"That's why it's pretty much a dual investigation with major collision and homicide both investigating."
As police piece together the moments leading up to the collision, the force is mourning the loss of four dedicated and beloved officers.
In obituaries provided to the media on Thursday, the officers were described in glowing terms.
Constable Humphris, originally from Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, moved to Melbourne in 2019 to begin his policing career.
"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," his obituary read.
Constable Prestney, who also joined Victoria Police in 2019, was described as "a much loved and respected member of his squad".
Leading Senior Constable Taylor, who joined Victoria Police in 1989, was remembered as "having a great sense of adventure and had instilled this spirit in her children". She was in the process of building her dream home with her husband, Stuart.
Senior Constable King, who had been with Victoria Police for six years, "always wanted to laugh, have a good time and talk about footy", said the officer in charge of Nunawading Highway Patrol.
Melbourne landmarks including the MCG, Town Hall and Flinders Street Station were bathed in blue light on Thursday night to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.
Anyone with information or dashcam footage from the Eastern Freeway on Wednesday afternoon is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestoppervic.com.au
- with AAP's Georgie Moore