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Local News - Victoria

Mother launches court action over fallen sign on Tullamarine Freeway


CPB Contractors, which was responsible for the construction and installation of signage on the Tullamarine Freeway, is also accused of repeated negligence, including failing to adequately design, construct and install the signage, according to the writ.

Ms Lettieri suffered head and spinal injuries along with post-traumatic stress disorder from the crash, which she described at the time as “like a roller door slamming shut in front of me”.

Nella Lettieri's car was crushed by a falling road sign.

Nella Lettieri’s car was crushed by a falling road sign.Credit:Nine News

The Transport Accident Commission had recently issued Ms Lettieri with a serious injury certificate, according to her lawyer, John Karantzis from Carbone Lawyers.

“Our client continues to suffer from severe physical and psychological injuries as a result of this incident and we intend to hold those responsible for these injuries to account,” Mr Karantzis said.

The incident prompted an investigation by CPB Contractors, which is part of the multinational CIMIC Group, formerly known as Leighton Holdings.

The review found the sign collapsed because of a “progressive fatigue crack” due to the omission of a stiffener plate during the fabrication process.

CPB Contractors declined to comment on the legal proceedings when contacted by The Sunday Age on Thursday.

A Department of Transport spokeswoman said it had conducted a thorough audit of similar signs and was confident the Tullamarine Freeway accident was an isolated incident.

“As this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, we are unable to comment further,” the spokeswoman said.

Major Projects Victoria program director David Clements said it had undertaken an extensive review and site inspection of all overhead and roadside assets built by CPB Contractors as part of the CityLink Tulla Widening Project.

“These inspections did not identify any ongoing public safety concerns and we remain committed to working with government and industry to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Mr Clements said.

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Local News - Victoria

On ‘sad and special day’, police remember colleagues killed on freeway


“It’s a sad day, it’s a special day, and it’s a very important day where police right across the nation come together to remember, to reflect and honour our fallen colleagues,” Mr Patton said.

“This year has even more meaning with the most significant loss of life we’ve ever experienced on April 22, where tragically four of our colleagues were killed on the Eastern Freeway in Kew.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton in front of the new memorial plaque for the four police officers.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton in front of the new memorial plaque for the four police officers. Credit:Eddie Jim

“It continues to highlight the risks of policing. There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.”

Mr Patton said the death of each police officer sends a tremor right through the organisation, making 2020 a particularly tough time for the force.

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He said police had taken a lot of comfort from the ongoing community support they’ve received throughout the year.

“I thank every one of my members right across Victoria for what they do,” Mr Patton said.

The traditional September 29 memorial service went online this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

There, families of the fallen paid touching tributes to those killed.

All had a common theme – a dedication, commitment and a love of the job.

At 10.44am, police officers in their stations and homes across the state paused for a minute’s silence to honour all those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable  Josh Prestney, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Glen Humphris were killed in the Eastern Freeway collision.

Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Josh Prestney, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Glen Humphris were killed in the Eastern Freeway collision.

“You have fought the good fight, life’s race has been run, and peace your reward, for eternity begun,” Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy read from the Police Ode.

“Rest in peace friend and colleague for the sun has now set”.

Senior Police Chaplain Jim Jung, who led the service, said 170 Victoria Police officers have paid the ultimate price for their service throughout their history of Victoria Police, their names forever enshrined on the wall of remembrance at the police memorial.

“May we that remain keep their memory alive and surround their families with love and protection,” he said.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he hoped adding the names of the Leading Senior Constable Taylor, Senior Constable King, Constable Prestney and Constable Humphris would forever remind Victorians of their bravery and the ultimate sacrifice they made.

“As the Premier of the state, can I say to you that my thoughts and prayers will be with their families today and with every police member and every police family on what will be a very challenging Police Remembrance Day,” he said.

“To live your life in the service and protection of others is an amazing thing. To lose your life doing that work is a terrible tragedy.

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“Our thoughts and prayers and best wishes are with every police member and every police family today.”

Mr Andrews re-iterated that, pending the wishes of the families, there would be a public ceremony to remember the four officers once COVID-19 restrictions allowed for it – hopefully in early 2021.

“I’d be very confident that Victorians would come to a service like that and would participate just to say thank you to those families and to every police family.”

The 23 names added to the honour role this year also include: Emily Cavanagh, David Phoebe, Senior Sergeant Jeffrey Haines, Sergeant Anthony McDonnell, Sergeant Paul Kirk, Graeme Bailey, Leading Senior Constable Geoffrey Lamb, retired chaplain Ken Agnew, Sergeant Shona O’Connor, Debbie Burnett, Detective Leading Senior Constable Tania Muller, Leading Senior Constable Michael Campbell, Senior Sergeant Trevor Lockwood, Senior Constable Glenn Paton, Lea Croydon, Leading Senior Constable Heath Martin, Barry Kotze, Leading Senior Constable John Miller, Amber Mackenzie.

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Australian News

Car crash on Princes Freeway causes huge traffic delays


Traffic is banked up along Melbourne’s Princes Freeway as emergency services rush to the scene of a serious car crash.

Air paramedics have landed on the freeway, near the Little River exit in the west of Melbourne, as traffic piles up.

Motorists can expect severe delays heading to Geelong with all lanes closed.

Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

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Local News - Victoria

Richard Pusey receives further charges over Eastern Freeway crash


As one of the officers, Leading Senior Constable Taylor, lay dying, her body camera captured Mr Pusey saying to her: “There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have my sushi.”

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The day after the crash, Mr Pusey was charged with a raft of offences, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance at the scene of a collision and possessing a drug of dependence.

He also allegedly destroyed evidence following the crash and was charged with three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail.

The most recent charges were laid by members from the road policing operations and investigations division. He will next face court on June 25.

The new charge of committing an act outraging public decency has rarely been used in Victoria. The common law offence is mostly brought against suspects in Britain in indecent exposure, public sex and upskirting cases, and requires prosecutors prove that a public act that was lewd, obscene or of disgusting character outrages the minimum standards of public decency.

A Canadian artist and a gallery owner in London were convicted of the offence in 1989, after the artist created earrings from freeze-dried human fetuses for his piece Human Earrings.

The most recent example was that of a 28-year-old intoxicated Englishman who was sentenced to 14 days in custoday for urinating near a memorial to a police officer in London.

The Age revealed last week that Mr Pusey is selling a townhouse in Melbourne’s east with an asking price of more than $950,000.

The Champion Street residence, which has a price quote range of $950,000 to $1.045 million, “showcases supreme living” and has a “modern atmosphere” ideal for families, according to the property listing.

The Doncaster East residence is one of over a dozen properties that Richard Pusey owns or has a stake in.

The Doncaster East east property owned by Richard Pusey and up for sale.

The Doncaster East east property owned by Richard Pusey and up for sale.Credit:Wayne Taylor

He applied for bail in mid-May but it was refused by a magistrate, who said she held concerns about his risk of committing offences while on bail and about his drug use.

The truck driver, Mr Singh, 47, has been charged with culpable driving causing the deaths of the four officers.

Mr Singh was denied bail on May 3 and released a statement through his lawyer at the time saying he was “genuinely sorry and saddened” about the deaths.

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Perth traffic: Truck stranded on train tracks after veering off Kwinana Freeway southbound


UPDATE: The Kwinana Freeway has been cleared and train services are back online after a truck veered through a guardrail and onto tracks earlier today, grinding traffic to a halt.

Main Roads says the section of southbound tarmac after Anketell Road was now operating as normal.

For those catching the train there is good news too, with Transperth announcing “services have resumed running on the Mandurah line”.

There was a caveat however, with services “not yet running to the normal timetable”.

“Thank you for your patience,” it said to followers on Twitter.

EARLIER: Part of the Kwinana Freeway remains closed after a truck veered off the freeway, crashing through a guardrail and onto the train tracks in Anketell.

The truck has since been removed but Main Roads WA has warned the left emergency lane southbound is blocked after Anketell Road and there is heavy congestion.

Trains on the Mandurah line have been cancelled between Cockburn Central and Rockingham. Train replacement buses are being organised, however commuters have been warned to allow extra travelling time.

A truck has veered through a freeway guard rail and become stranded on the train track near Anketell Road.
Camera IconA truck has veered through a freeway guard rail and become stranded on the train track near Anketell Road. Credit: Main Roads WA

A caller to radio station 6PR said the truck had broken through a wire guard rail and travelled up the the side of a gully to come to rest at an angle with the driver’s side wheel resting on the railway line.

”The driver was removed from the cabin of the truck, they have got him out. Not long after a train was coming northbound,” Bob said.

Another caller has reported traffic backed up to Rowley Road.



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Local News - Victoria

Families of fallen officers killed in Eastern Freeway tragedy gather at fundraising relay run


The idea spread quickly as more and more officers jumped on board and on Sunday, after a final relay run in the autumn sun, First Constable Peak and dozens of others were able to present a cheque for $374,193.41 to Victoria Police Legacy.

The final group in the relay run down St Kilda Road on Sunday afternoon.

The final group in the relay run down St Kilda Road on Sunday afternoon. Credit:Darrian Traynor

The money will go to the families of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney, who were killed on the side of the busy Melbourne freeway.

In emotional scenes at Melbourne’s Police Memorial on Sunday afternoon, Senior Constable King’s partner, Sharron Mackenzie, and three sons, Constable Prestney’s parents, Andrew and Belinda, and Constable Humpris’ partner, Todd Robinson, came together to remember their loved ones.

Family members of the police officers who were killed in the collision attended the final leg of the relay run.

Family members of the police officers who were killed in the collision attended the final leg of the relay run. Credit:Darrian Traynor

“It’s an honour to have them here today,” First Constable Peak told The Age. “I can’t imagine how difficult this would be [for them].”

Police members started their relay run at 8am at the Police Academy in Glen Waverley, holding four bright blue batons engraved with the names of the four officers.

They then passed the police stations where the four members worked during their careers.

First Constable Peak hugs a family member at the finish line.

First Constable Peak hugs a family member at the finish line.Credit:Darrian Traynor

At 11.20am, they stopped by the side of the Eastern Freeway and a minute’s silence was held opposite the spot where crash occurred.

“We created a platform for people who wanted to grieve and needed a way to channel their grief. And the community that has been created has been really heart-warming,” said First Constable Peak.

The four blue batons were inscribed with the names of the fallen officers.

The four blue batons were inscribed with the names of the fallen officers. Credit:Darrian Traynor

“I didn’t think what I did would be this big.”

The chief executive officer of Victoria Police Legacy, Lex de Man, said he had never seen this much donated to the remembrance fund.

“It tells me the support from the public for the families, and the public want to say, ‘we are with you’, and also for what Victoria Police does in general,” he said.

A minute's silence in held at the site of the crash.

A minute’s silence in held at the site of the crash. Credit:Darrian Traynor

“[Today has] been emotional, very humbling to receive such an amount of money and for some of the families who have been able to come along, to see the appreciation on their faces.”

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Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said he was exceptionally proud of his members, who had naturally come together to support each other.

“[First Constable Peak] is in her 20s and it just goes to show that the measure of a police officer is not in their years of service, it’s in the character,” he said.

Mr Gatt said he was supportive of creating a permanent memorial at the site of the crash on the Eastern Freeway, given it was a loss of “such significant scale”.

“It’s touched Victoria in a way that would make having a memorial in the vicinity of that location not only special, but fitting.”

Truck driver Mohinder Singh, 47, has been charged with culpable driving causing death over the crash and will face court again in October.

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Trucking company involved in Eastern Freeway crash hit with safety breaches


More than 60 trucks were inspected at locations including Wetherill Park, Marulan, Wagga Wagga and Pine Creek.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the probe would ensure the company did not pose a safety risk on the roads.

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“We will continue to work with other police and road agencies to ensure that fleets are safe, and drivers fit and able to operate on our roads,” he said.

Mr Singh, 47, has been charged with culpable driving causing the deaths of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.

He was denied bail on May 3 and released a statement through his lawyer at the time saying he was “genuinely sorry and saddened” about the deaths.

His lawyer told a court Mr Singh had anxiety and depression and might have had an undiagnosed psychiatric issue his whole life.

The Porsche driver involved in the incident was refused bail on Thursday.



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Eastern Freeway tragedy Porsche driver applies for bail


The man who was driving a Porsche that was being impounded on the Eastern Freeway when four police officers were allegedly hit by a truck and killed will apply for bail.

Richard Pusey is led from his home by police in Melbourne in April.

Richard Pusey is led from his home by police in Melbourne in April. Credit:AAP

Richard Pusey’s bail application will be heard in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday. He has been in custody since he was arrested on April 23.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Josh Prestney and Glen Humphris were killed in the tragedy in April while impounding Pusey’s Porsche, which was allegedly speeding at 149km/h.

Mr Pusey has been charged with numerous offences, including driving at dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to remain after a drug test, failing to render assistance and failing to exchange details. He allegedly tested positive for cannabis and ice at the time.



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Porsche driver involved in Eastern Freeway crash applies for bail


The Porsche driver accused of fleeing the scene of the horrific Eastern Freeway crash that killed four Victorian police officers has applied to be released from prison.

Richard Pusey, 41, has made an application for bail that will be heard at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

He has compiled a “dossier” on how he is being treated in prison that he hopes will bolster his case, a police source told the Herald Sun.

Pusey is currently in protective custody at Melbourne Assessment Prison.

The mortgage broker is facing a string of charges following the crash that killed Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Josh Prestney and Constable Glen Humprhis.

The charges include driving with speed, dangerous, reckless conduct endangering life and failing to remain after a drug test.

Victoria Police alleges Pusey was intercepted by two officers on the Eastern Freeway on April 23 after being seen driving his Porsche 911 at speeds up to 140km/h.

A drug test returned positive readings for methamphetamine and cannabis.

Two other officers arrived at the scene to impound Mr Pusey’s car. The four officers were then struck by a truck in the emergency lane and all four were killed.

Mr Pusey was uninjured and left the scene.

Last month, a court heard Pusey was recorded on the bodycam of Leading Senior Constable Taylor, allegedly telling her: “There you go. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have my sushi. Now you’ve f****ed my f***ing car.”

AAP reports Constable Taylor could be heard groaning for help.



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Eastern Freeway truck driver charged with killing four police officers ‘saddened and distressed’


A truck driver charged with killing four police officers on a Melbourne freeway says he is “genuinely sorry and saddened” about their deaths.

Mohinder Singh, 47, has expressed the sentiment through a statement released by his lawyer Steve Pica on Sunday.

Mr Singh has been charged with culpable driving causing the deaths of Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney as they were impounding a Porsche on the Eastern Freeway at Kew on April 22.

Mohinder Singh.

Mohinder Singh.Credit:Nine News

“Mr Singh is genuinely sorry and saddened that four people have lose their lives as a result of the collision,” the short statement from Mr Pica reads.



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