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Truck kills four Australian police who stopped speeding driver

April 24, 2020  By The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia — A truck smashed into a police car that had stopped a speeding driver on a freeway in Australia, killing four officers, officials said Thursday.

It was the largest loss of police lives in a single incident in Victoria state, state police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.

He said the officers had pulled over the driver of a Porsche 911 for speeding on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway on Wednesday evening. Police said the car was travelling at 40 kilometres (25 miles) per hour above the speed limit.

The driver tested positive for an illicit drug, and the police were in an emergency stopping lane arranging to impound the car when they were struck by a refrigerated truck, Ashton said.

The truck hit the back of the police cars before crashing into the Porsche, which became wedged under the truck’s cab. All police present — three men and a woman — died at the scene.

The truck’s driver was under police guard in a hospital on Thursday after losing consciousness, Ashton said.

He said the driver of the Porsche took grisly photos of the crash scene and then fled on foot and posted the images on Facebook.

“It disgusts me and today when I’m spending time with family members of those deceased officers, I can tell you it will absolutely disgust them,” Ashton told reporters.

Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident is an offence. The driver of the Porsche approached police with a lawyer on Thursday and was questioned by homicide detectives.

News from © The Associated Press Enterprises Inc., 2020

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