'Forever remembered': Four cops killed in crash identified

 

The four Victoria Police officers killed in last night's horrific crash in Melbourne have been identified.

Police had intercepted a speeding black Porsche on the Eastern Freeway when they were hit from behind by a large, white refrigerated truck.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney all died at the scene, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Thursday.

"Their names will forever be remembered, their service honoured, and their memories celebrated," he said in a statement to the Herald Sun.

"These officers were undertaking their everyday duties in helping to keep the community safe when they were killed."

Eliza Anderson with her grandson Constable Josh Prestney. Picture: Facebook
Eliza Anderson with her grandson Constable Josh Prestney. Picture: Facebook

Con Prestney's grandmother, Eliza Anderson, told the publication he had just begun his new road policing role after graduating from the police academy in 2019.

She said he was "just on a stint before being at Kew station" and had only started on Tuesday.

Constable Josh Prestney and his grandmother Eliza Anderson. Picture: Facebook
Constable Josh Prestney and his grandmother Eliza Anderson. Picture: Facebook

Ms Anderson has shared images on social media of her standing next to the 28-year-old, describing herself as a "proud Nan".

"You were so proud to serve, and we were so proud of you," she wrote on Facebook.

Others have paid tribute to the young officer.

"Rest in peace mate," one friend said on Instagram.

Constable Josh Prestney. Picture: Instagram
Constable Josh Prestney. Picture: Instagram

Another man wrote: "Everyone deserves to come home after work. RIP to a dear friend. You were taken from us way too soon."

According to his social media profiles, Con Prestney was a passionate triathlete, following in the footsteps of his parents, and a talented musician.

The collision occurred near Chandler Highway just after 5.30pm on Wednesday, police said.

Chief Commissioner Ashton said it was the largest single loss of police lives in the history of the state's force.

"We're preparing some profiles on those officers with their career history and detailing their service to the community this morning … so that more can be known about the great service of these four officers to our community," he told reporters this morning.

Two of the officers were with the Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section, who decided to impound the Porsche, and the other two responding officers were with Highway Patrol.

Mr Ashton said all four were out of their vehicles when they were struck.

"They were dealing with this person, dealing with the impound situation and have obviously had next to no warning that the truck has arrived from where it did," he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke on Thursday about the "terrible incident" at Kew.

"Every single member of Victoria Police put themselves in harm's way every hour of every day in order to keep the rest of us safe," he said.

"Their commitment to others, their professionalism, their courage is without question.

"Yesterday, we had a tragic reminder of the risks, the dangers and the tragedy that that work can involve.

"On behalf of every single Victorian, I send the best wishes, the thoughts and prayers of all of us to the families of the four members of Victoria Police who died keeping the rest of us safe."

 

Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney were tragically killed on Wednesday evening. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied by Victoria Police.
Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney were tragically killed on Wednesday evening. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied by Victoria Police.

SENIOR CONSTABLE KEVIN KING

Sen Con King, 50, served with the force for six years and worked at several Melbourne stations before joining the Nunawading Highway patrol in April last year.

He was described by the Officer in Charge as "an older head with a lot of life experience who always made good judgment calls and decisions. He was a terrific bloke. A lovely, all round good bloke who took to road policing immediately. He would do anything in his power to not let you down. He always just wanted to laugh, have a good time, and talk about footy. It's just devastating to lose a bloke like that."

"Kevin was passionate about road policing and knew that it was not just about giving out tickets," his obituary reads.

He was a father-of-three and leaves behind his wife, Sharron Mackenzie, and their three children, William, James and Henry.

 

LEADING SENIOR CONSTABLE LYNETTE TAYLOR

Sen Con Taylor, 60, had served for 31 years with Victoria Police since she joined the force in January 1989.

She was recognised by the Chief Commissioner for her good work while performing duties at the Traffic Camera Office and received the National Medal first clasp - 25 years, National Police Service medal and the Victoria Police Service medal four clasp - 30 years, her obituary states.

"She quickly progressed from general duties policing into traffic and road policing roles early in her career and worked in the Road Policing (Drug and Alcohol Section) Operations Unit since 2011," it reads.

"She had a great sense of humour and her colleagues will fondly remember seeing her smiling face every day.

"Lynette had a reputation of going into bat for others and challenging decisions that she believed were unfair."

Sen Con Taylor had travelled the world, ticking off a year sailing around the South Pacific on a yacht, and had been building her dream retirement home overlooking Bass Strait on Victoria's south east coast.

She was also the primary carer for her sister who had recently suffered a stroke.

She is survived by her husband, former Victoria Police officer Stuart Schultz, and their two sons, Nathan and Alexander.

 

CONSTABLE GLEN HUMPHRIS

Con Humphris began his policing career in Victoria last year after working in NSW as an apprentice carpenter, personal trainer, sports scientist and exercise physiologist and later for Return to Work in Newcastle.

"He enjoyed the food and bar lifestyle of Melbourne and he continued to have a passion for exercise, competing in triathlons and maintaining a high level of fitness," his obituary states.

"His squad mates said he genuinely wanted to help people, had a great sense of community and genuine empathy for everyone - victim and offender alike. Glen is remembered as being very level-headed, caring and supportive with a great sense of humour and had the ability to make light of any situation to calm people."

He had a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and a Masters in Exercise Physiology.

He performed "extremely well" during his time at the Police Academy, recording results in both examinations and assessments that were "well above average".

Con Humphris completed placements at South Melbourne and Melbourne East police stations before graduating last month and beginning his placement in the Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section.

He leaves behind his partner of four years, Todd, in Melbourne.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke on Thursday about the "terrible incident" at Kew.

"Every single member of Victoria Police put themselves in harm's way every hour of every day in order to keep the rest of us safe," he said.

"Their commitment to others, their professionalism, their courage is without question.

"Yesterday, we had a tragic reminder of the risks, the dangers and the tragedy that that work can involve.

"On behalf of every single Victorian, I send the best wishes, the thoughts and prayers of all of us to the families of the four members of Victoria Police who died keeping the rest of us safe."



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