‘So unjust’: Families slam freeway killer
The Melbourne truck driver who was high on ice and claimed he saw a witch before killing four police officers on the side of the Eastern Freeway is facing his victims' families today.
Mohinder Singh, 48, ploughed into the four officers near Kew on April 22 last year in what would become the single deadliest incident in Victorian Police history.
Singh entered guilty pleas to four counts of culpable driving causing death and six other charges in relation to the crash that killed Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
The officers had earlier pulled over Porsche driver Richard Pusey because he was allegedly speeding. Mr Pusey, who was urinating behind a barrier when Singh's truck crashed through the emergency lane, later filmed the officers while they were dying.
VICTIMS' FAMILIES READ HEARTBREAKING STATEMENTS
Sharron MacKenzie, who lost her partner Kevin King in the crash, struggled through a heartbreaking victim impact statement inside court.
Through tears, she read out a statement about her heartbreak, and the heartbreak experienced by the couple's three young children. She told her husband's killer he "is not deserving" of any part of her energy.
"Writing this statement has been the most confronting process," she said.
"I haven't just lost a partner, I lost the man that was every part of me. We lost the most beautiful, caring, dedicated man who had a heart of gold. He was an incredibly devoted father and family man. I'm here today a broken person.
"There is no way anyone could ever prepare themselves for some devastating news. An incident that was so careless, so unjust, that occurred because of poor choices and should never happened, killed the man I loved and the father of my children.
"There are simply no words to describe the shock, disbelief and gut-wrenching pain that followed. For the first time in my life I understood the feeling of choking pain. Deep and utter despair and felt I could die of a broken heart.
"I've not allowed the man responsible to have any part of my energy or being," she said.
"He is not deserving. His actions have taken Kevin away from us and have drained so much life out of my family. What little energy I have left has been placed into honouring Kevin."
SINGH SO DRUG AFFECTED 'HE COULDN'T EVEN SPEAK'
Earlier, in front of Justice Paul Coghlan, prosecutor Brendan Kissane QC read out details of the offending including that the "offender hadn't slept for eight days".
He told the court that in the days leading up to the crash, Singh was so affected by drugs that "he couldn't even speak".
On the 19th of April, three days before the crash, Singh spent 10-12 hours in a Dandenong motel room where he consumed so much ice that he "struggled to continue using".
He said that polysubstance abuse and a "lack of opportunity for proper rest" left Singh in a state of "significant fatigue and impairment".
The court heard that Singh was swerving into and out of the emergency lane on the day of the crash so frequently that a witness commented to a family member: "This dude's going to f***ing kill someone".
"Eastlink footage shows the offender's truck dipping and veering out of its lane," Mr Kissane said. "Witnesses ... also noticed the offender's truck dip into the emergency lane.
"The truck drifted completely into the emergency lane for a couple of seconds before veering back on the roadway."
He said that at the time of the crash, all four police officers were standing between police vehicles and the guard rail. Singh, who claimed he was "cursed" by a witch at the time of the crash, did not apply his brakes despite a collision warning appearing on his vehicle's dashboard "until the collision occurred".
"There was no reactive braking until the time of impact," Mr Kissane said. "The collision resulted in the deaths of all four officers."
The court heard Singh told his son that he was being followed by a witch in the days before the crash. "He stated he had been seeing a witch that had changed clothes," Mr Kissane said.
Melbourne Magistrates' Court previously heard claims from Singh that he saw a witch and the witch put a spell on him.
"I was tired, I was tired, couldn't sleep cos I was seeing that witch, that witch was - that put a spell on me and I couldn't sleep at all," Singh told police in the days after the crash.
A doctor found he had ice in his system which impaired his ability to drive and a fatigue expert found he had a mere five hours of "potential rest" in the three days leading up to collision.
He told police he saw the four officers in front of his truck before the crash.
"I can still see them in front of my truck and I tried to slam the brakes on 'em and I couldn't stop it, I couldn't stop it."
But court documents state that an analysis of data from the truck's computer showed Singh didn't attempt to hit the brakes until the impact.
More to come.
- with NCA NewsWire
Originally published as 'So unjust': Families slam freeway killer