Mr Pusey was pulled over on Wednesday afternoon for allegedly travelling at 149km/h on the freeway and tested positive to ice and cannabis.
He was urinating on the side of the freeway when a semi-trailer veered into the emergency lane and hit the four officers who were preparing to impound his Porsche.
New recruits Constable Josh Prestney and Constable Glen Humphris were killed alongside senior colleagues Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Senior Constable Kevin King.
Porsche driver alleged wiped phone footage
Mr Pusey was charged on Thursday night with numerous offences, including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to remain after a drug test, failing to render assistance and failing to exchange details.
He is also charged with the destruction of evidence and three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail.
Court documents reveal Mr Pusey is charged with possession of methamphetamine.
The millionaire mortgage broker also allegedly wiped video footage of the carnage from one of his two mobile phones. Before he handed himself in to police, Mr Pusey is believed to have activated the phone’s factory reset function, which immediately deleted all content and settings.
He faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday morning, wearing the same jumper he was in when he was taken into custody.
How the tragedy unfolded
In an unusual move, homicide squad Detective Senior Constable Aaron Price asked Magistrate Donna Bakos if he could read out parts of the police summary to the court to ensure all reporting of the incident was accurate.
Senior Detective Price told the court that Senior Constable Taylor’s body-worn camera continued running throughout the incident and captured the aftermath of the collision.
Mr Pusey was intercepted by Senior Constable Taylor and Constable Glen Humphris, who pulled him into the emergency lane about 4.30pm.
Inquiries about the Porsche’s registration revealed it was connected to outstanding matters, so the two officers called for backup, the court heard.
Highway Patrol officers Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney arrived at 5.35pm.
The four police officers were standing next to their cars, while Mr Pusey had gone into nearby grassland to urinate when the semi-trailer veered into the emergency lane and hit the officers.
After the crash
Mr Pusey later told police he heard a “bang” and looked around to see “my car being pushed with the truck on top of it and two officers had just been crashed”.
The court heard Mr Pusey detailed where all four officers were after they were hit by the prime mover and described “in detail” what he believed their injuries to be.
In footage captured by her body-worn camera, Senior Constable Taylor can be heard calling out for help at 5.42pm but no one went to her aid.
As multiple passersby got out of their cars to help, Mr Pusey then allegedly removed two iPhones from his car and walked around the scene using his phone to record videos.
He then allegedly walked right up to Senior Constable Taylor as she was pinned to the truck.
In the body-cam footage she can be heard groaning before Mr Pusey allegedly says to her: “There you go, amazing, absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have some sushi and now you f—ed my f—ing car.”
Police allege he did not try to render assistance in any way. A pathologist has told police it was likely Senior Constable Taylor was still alive at that point.
The body-cam footage also captured a passerby telling Mr Pusey to leave the scene as he is filming. He responded: “That’s my f—ing car, mate.”
Mr Pusey asked someone for a lift to Fitzroy and was dropped on the corner of Alexandra Parade and Smith Street, the court heard.
Police say he then called his wife and told her what he had seen. He went to the doctor and also told them about the incident.
Later that night, he allegedly called a federal police officer he knew, told her about the crash and sent her video, and also sent pictures of the crime scene to a friend, joking that he was hoping to get out of the fine.
He called the Fitzroy police station between 10pm and 11pm on Wednesday, and was asked to come to the station. He allegedly said “he just couldn’t” and went to bed.
Mr Pusey attended Spencer Street police station in West Melbourne with his lawyer about 9.40am on Thursday, bringing with him a mobile phone which he told police was the device he had used at the scene.
“Inquiries revealed he had in fact intentionally given police the wrong phone which had been wiped to factory settings,” Senior Detective Price told the court.
A search warrant was conducted at Mr Pusey’s home on Thursday afternoon and an iPhone 11, which police believe he used to film the scene, was discovered.
Senior Detective Price, who became emotional as he read out the summary, also clarified that, contrary to some reports, police had not found evidence that Mr Pusey himself posted images from the scene to Facebook.
After reading the summary, Senior Detective Price bowed his head as he asked the court to observe a moment of silence for the victims and their families.
Mr Pusey remained expressionless during the court hearing, at times bowing his head and looking at his lap.
His lawyer Vincent Peters said his client was on medication for mental health issues.
The driver of the truck that ploughed into the officers suffered a medical episode following the crash, blacked out and remains in hospital under police guard. Police were hoping to interview him on Friday afternoon.
Mr Pusey did not apply for bail and was remanded until his next court appearance on July 16.
In the line of duty
At least 170 Victoria Police officers have died on duty or as a result of their duties. Notable tragedies for the force include:
- December 30, 1837. The first recorded Victorian police officer to be killed in the line of duty was Constable Matthew Tomkin, who was shot by escaped convict George Comerford in Melbourne.
- October 26, 1878. Sergeant Michael Kennedy and Constables Thomas Lonigan and Michael Scanlan were shot and killed by the Kelly gang in an ambush at Stringybark Creek in the Wombat Ranges.
- March 27, 1986. Constable Angela Taylor was the first Australian female officer to die on duty after she was killed in the bombing of the Russell Street police headquarters.
- October 12, 1988. Constables Damien Eyre and Steven Tynan were ambushed and shot by offenders who had deliberately lured police to an abandoned car in Walsh Street, South Yarra.
- August 16, 1998. Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller shot in Moorabbin while investigating a series of armed robberies.
- May 20, 2000. Senior constables Mark Anthony Bateman and Fiona Frances Robinson died when their divvy van crashed while responding to reports of a holdup in Northcote.
- April 22, 2020. Senior Constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King and Constables Josh Prestney and Glen Humphris killed when they were hit by a truck on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway after pulling over an allegedly speeding Porsche driver.
Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.
Anthony is a sports and general news reporter at The Age.