An online fundraiser has been launched to help the families of four Victoria Police officers who died on Wednesday.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney were killed while responding to a speeding vehicle on the Eastern Highway near Kew.
Since being set up yesterday, more than $100,000 has been raised.
The Victoria Police Legacy Scheme, who established the fundraiser on GiveNow, wrote: “The loss of a police officer on duty is something we all fear when we see our loved ones put on their uniform and go to work, but to experience the loss of four police officers in a single event is incomprehensible.
“It shouldn’t ever happen.”
The terrible tragedy unfolded after 5pm when a police vehicle helped stop a man driving a Porsche. A second vehicle arrived to help impound the Porsche.
As the four officers were in the emergency lane of the highway, a refrigeration truck slammed into them, killing them at the scene.
The driver of the Porsche has been accused of taking photos of the scene before fleeing on foot.
He’s since been charged with driving speed dangerous, reckless conduct endangering life, fail to remain after a drug test, fail to render assistance, fail to exchange detail, possessing drug of dependence, destruction of evidence, and three counts of commit indictable offence while on bail.
It’s the single largest loss of life for the Victorian Police force in its history.
Tributes have been pouring in for the officers, with many praising their efforts for putting their lives on the line to keep the community safe.
It was revealed yesterday that Constable Josh Prestney had only been in the job for two days when the accident happened.
His grandmother, Eliza Anderson, has spoken to the Herald Sun about how the 28-year-old had the world at his feet.
She added: “Josh was 28. He only graduated in November. He was just on a stint before being at Kew station. He had only started on this on Tuesday.”
Eliza described Josh as ‘beautiful’ and ‘talented’ and was ‘proud to serve’ the community.
Police are still investigating how the crash happened, however they’ve found a treasure trove of evidence on the officers’ bodycams, which were active when everything unfolded.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told Channel 9: “I’m told that is quite illustrative. We’ve got a lot of evidence to piece together and while we currently don’t know [what caused the crash], we will know before too much longer.”