Family of ice-riddled truck driver who killed four cops open up about the guilt they live with
‘We didn’t want them to die’: Wife of ice-riddled truck driver who ran over and killed four police officers says her family live with the guilt of what he did every day
- Four Victoria police officers were killed by truck driver Mohinder Singh in 2019
- Their families have released statements one year on from their horrific deaths
- The partner of Constable Glen Humphris said his death was ‘gut wrenching’
- Constable Josh Prestney’s family said they will never get over his death
- Lynnette Taylor and Kevin King were also killed in the crash on Eastern Freeway
- Singh’s wife Amarjit broke her silence to say her family didn’t want officers to die
Published: 01:00, 22 April 2021 | Updated: 01:10, 22 April 2021
The wife of the ice-fuelled truck driver who struck and killed four Melbourne police officers says her family are riddled with constant guilt over the shocking tragedy.
Thursday marks one year since father-of-two Mohinder Singh, 48, ran his truck into Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney on Melbourne‘s Eastern Freeway.
The four officers had been impounding a Porsche driven by mortgage broker driver Richard Pusey when they were struck and killed by Singh’s semi-trailer.
Their deaths were the biggest loss of officer lives in a single incident in Victoria Police’s history.
As their colleagues and heartbroken families prepare to remember and pay tribute one year on, Singh’s wife Amarjit has broken her silence, a week after he was sentenced to a maximum 22 years behind bars.
Left to right: Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Josh Prestney
‘We miss the people (the police officers),’ Amarjit told the Herald Sun.
‘We (didn’t) want them to die. We have to live with the guilt that the living died.’
Her husband had spent the days leading up the crash on a bender smoking ice and cannabis and downing bottles of booze. He had only slept for five hours over three days.
Victoria Police officers will pause on Thursday to remember and pay tribute to their four fallen colleagues.
A heartfelt video tribute to the officers has been shared with the public on the Victoria Police Facebook page.
‘On this day, one year ago, four of our colleagues were tragically killed in a road incident on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway,’ the video was captioned.
‘Today, and every day, we remember the lives of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, and Constables Josh Prestney and Glen Humphris who were killed in the line of duty on 22 April 2020.
‘We will remember them.’
Mohinder Singh (pictured being led into court in March) has been jailed over the tragedy. His wife broke her silence to pay tribute to the four police officers on the one year anniversary of their deaths
Mohinder Singh, pictured arriving at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne, was sentenced to 22 years in jail
Family, friends and colleagues will attend a memorial service at the police academy chapel in Glen Waverley, where four wreaths will be laid at the police memorial wall followed by a minute’s silence for each officer killed.
Other vigils will be held across Victoria with a message to be broadcast through police radios at the end of the service and at 5.36pm when the incident occurred, requesting a minute’s silence.
Flags at police stations will be flown at half-mast and landmarks across Melbourne, including Flinders Street station Bolte Bridge and the MCG will be lit up in blue on Thursday night.
‘The deaths of four of our own continues to be felt right across the police force,’ Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said.
‘We know that this date, and the days and weeks surrounding it, will be a particularly difficult time for many.
‘The deaths of our colleagues struck at the very core of Victoria Police and brought home the sobering reality of the inherent dangers that come with police work.
The Police Association of Victoria also paid tribute.
‘We acknowledge the sacrifice that these four members made on April 22, 2020, and the extraordinary loss suffered by their loved ones, both on that night and every day since,’ the organisation posted online.
‘We stand shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues, who remain devastated by the loss of their mates, but determined to carry on their legacy.’
It comes two days after Victoria Police paused to remember another fallen officer Constable Angela Rose Taylor on the 35th anniversary of her death.
Angela, 21, died at the Royal Melbourne Hospital 20 April 1986 from her injuries that were sustained in the Russell St bombing.
The family of Constable Prestney (pictured) said their world fell apart the night he was killed while in the line of duty
In a heartbreaking statement one year on from his death, the family of Constable Prestney said: ‘Josh’s guitars have fallen silent, the music he loved is no longer pumped around the house’
Constable Josh Prestney (pictured) was one of four Victoria Police officers who were killed by truck driver Mohinder Singh on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway on April 22 last year
Constable Prestney is pictured at left with his mother Belinda and at right with his father Andrew
The police officers’ heartbroken families have shared how they have been ‘left with scars that will never completely heal’ one year on from their horrific deaths.
Const Prestney, 28, was on his first week on the job when he was killed, having just graduated from the police academy in November, 2019.
He was only working a short stint in the field before he was to be transferred to Kew police station.
In a statement released to mark the one-year anniversary of Const Prestney’s death, his mother Belinda, father Andrew and brother Alex said they will never be able to move on from the crash.
‘The night we lost Josh our world fell apart.
It has now been one year, but the memory of how that night unfolded is as clear and as painful as if it happened yesterday,’ the family’s statement said.
‘As hard it was to lose Josh, harder still has been learning to live without him. We will never get used to this, get over this or move on from this.
‘If we are lucky, time may soften the edges of our grief, but the loss of our son and brother has left scars that will never completely heal.
‘He was eager to excel in his new career with Victoria Police and we would like to acknowledge the members he trained with and worked with, who are struggling with his loss.’
The funeral procession lines up during the funeral of Constable Josh Prestney on May 4, 2020
Floral tributes before the funeral of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor at the Victoria Police Academy in Melbourne last April
A tribute to the four fallen police officers outside the Victoria Police Academy in April, 2020
Const Humphris, 32, was another new recruit to the force, having only started his police career in 2019 after graduating from the academy in March of that year.
His partner of four years, Todd Robinson, described Const Humphris’ death as ‘one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life’.
‘Despite the tragic circumstances, I want to use this opportunity to remember Glen as the smiling, bubbly and beautiful man that he was, and the love we shared for each other,’ Mr Robinson said.
‘He touched many people in his life, and many people cared for him. I want these stories and memories of joy and optimism to be forever remembered.’
Mr Robinson said on the day of the crash, ‘I wished Glen a great day and hugged him goodbye as I left for work, not knowing that would be the last time we would ever see each other’.
STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF CONSTABLE JOSH PRESTNEY
Constable Josh Prestney is pictured at right with his brother Alex
The night we lost Josh our world fell apart.
It has now been one year, but the memory of how that night unfolded is as clear and as painful as if it happened yesterday. As hard it was to lose Josh, harder still has been learning to live without him.
We will never get used to this, get over this or move on from this. If we are lucky, time may soften the edges of our grief, but the loss of our son and brother has left scars that will never completely heal.
Josh’s guitars have fallen silent, the music he loved is no longer pumped around the house and there is no more witty banter across the dinner table or cheering at the footy.
Our son was generous, loving, discerning and honest, with a deep love of family and for his partner Stacey.
He was eager to excel in his new career with Victoria Police and we would like to acknowledge the members he trained with and worked with, who are struggling with his loss. We all miss him so very much. Josh’s story was not finished, there was still so much more to do.
We are comforted by the love and support we receive from family, friends, colleagues and strangers, every day.
Victoria Police have become our second family, reaching out to us with kindness and respect to help us get through the difficult days, especially in the past few weeks. They truly are extraordinary people.
Your life was a blessing
Your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words
Missed beyond measure
Andrew, Belinda and Alex Prestney
The parents of Constable Josh Prestney, Andrew and Belinda, are pictured arriving at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne during Mohinder Singh’s plea hearing in March
Singh was last week sentenced to a total of 22 years by Justice Paul Coghlan: 12 years for one death and three additional years for each of the other three deaths with the terms partially concurrent.
There was an additional year on the sentence for his drug offences.
The non-parole period was 18.5 years, and taking into account the year he has already been behind bars, he could be out in late 2039.
The families of all of the four victims watched on within the Supreme Court of Victoria on April 14 as Singh’s sentence was handed down last week.
The court heard Singh had been told to get some rest before he got behind the wheel on the day of the crash.
For two whole seconds before he ran the police officers down, alarms in Singh’s truck warned him to stop.
At 22 seconds past 5.36pm that day, Singh’s truck swerved into the emergency lane where the vehicle’s front mounted radar sensor detected the stationary police vehicles in front of the truck.
The truck triggered a ‘Forward Collision Warning Event’, which projected a red flashing light onto the inside of the windscreen.
STATEMENT FROM TODD ROBINSON, THE PARTNER OF CONSTABLE GLEN HUMPHRIS
Constable Glen Humphris
I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone that has supported me over the past 12 months. Without the support I have received I could not imagine being here today celebrating the life of Glen.
To my family, who showed me great strength and guided me through some of my darkest days; to my FLO Dean Howard; Chaplain Dave Thompson; Police Legacy; Blue Ribbon; Members of VicPol; and indeed the Australian public, who I cannot thank enough for your care and compassion.
Today marks 12 months since I wished Glen a great day and hugged him goodbye as I left for work, not knowing that would be the last time we would ever see each other.
Each and every day, police officers put their lives on the line for our community, and it is the worst fear of every partner and family member to receive that knock on the door.
This was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life, and despite the tragic circumstances, I want to use this opportunity to remember Glen as the smiling, bubbly and beautiful man that he was, and the love we shared for each other.
He touched many people in his life, and many people cared for him. I want these stories and memories of joy and optimism to be forever remembered.
In loving memory of Glen.
The partner of Constable Glen Humphris, Todd Robinson (centre in light blue suit), is picturing arriving at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne in March during Mohinder Singh’s plea hearing
Mohinder Singh’s truck careered off the highway and into the car of Richard Pusey, who had been pulled over by the officers for alleged speeding
Richard Pusey has pleaded guilty to four charges – outraging public decency, drug possession, reckless conduct endangering serious injury and speeding – after the crash.
He is pictured being taken away from his Fitzroy property by police on April 23, 2020
Crash experts later found Singh never hit the brakes and the only reason the truck stopped at all was because the vehicle itself had done so.
Pusey himself pleaded guilty last month to several charges after filming the crash site and taunting a senior constable as she lay dying.
He is awaiting sentence.
Pusey avoided being struck in the crash as he had been urinating off to the side of the road.
He fled the scene and was arrested a day after the crash on April 23.
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