A Melbourne-based mortgage broker is facing a list of charges following his involvement in a fatal multi-vehicle collision that led to the deaths of four police officers in Kew on the evening of Wednesday, 22 April.
Richard Pusey of Switch Now Home Loans is believed to have been the driver of a Porsche involved in the accident on the Eastern Freeway near Chandler Highway just after 5.30pm.
As detailed by Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton at a press conference in Melbourne, Pusey was pulled over into the emergency stopping lane by two police officers after allegedly traveling at a speed of 140 kilometres an hour.
After checking the car and speaking to the driver, the officers conducted a drug test which came back positive. As such, they called for support from highway patrol, the division which handles the procedure of impounding vehicles.
Shortly after the two additional police members arrived, around 5:40pm, a refrigerated semi barrelled into the lane, killing all four officers at the scene.
According to multiple reports, Pusey fled in the aftermath of the collision.
Investigators have thanked the public for the “significant number of calls” to Crime Stoppers which aided in their efforts to locate Pusey the day following the incident.
Homicide Squad detectives have charged Pusey with ten counts, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failure to remain after a drug test, failure to render assistance, failure to exchange detail, possession of a drug of dependence, destruction of evidence and three counts of committing indictable offences while on bail.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today, 24 April.
“The driver of the Porsche is someone who is known to us. He has an extensive criminal history involving a range of different offences,” said Chief Commissioner Ashton.
The truck driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and the police plan to interview him once he is able as the exact cause of the collision remains unclear.
Victoria Police are still urging anyone who was in the area and witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage to contact Crime Stoppers, particularly if their information pertains to the movements of the truck immediately before the collision.
Pusey was named a Mortgage Professional Australia Top 100 Broker in both 2013 and 2016. His company, Switch Now Home Loans, services a wide range of loans, from standard to non-conforming through to self-managed supers.