Bombshell text before horror truck tragedy
The boss of a truckie who ploughed into four police officers in Melbourne received a text hours before the horror crash warning him "I don't think he should be driving".
Explosive text messages tendered in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday showed Connect Logistics manager Simiona Tuteru was told truck driver Mohinder Singh shouldn't be on the road.
Mr Tuteru is facing more than 80 charges in connection to the crash - including four counts of manslaughter - because he allegedly "caused or encouraged" Singh to get behind the wheel while he was "fatigued, impaired by drugs and unfit to drive".
He faced the second day of a committal hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence for the case to go trial.
"He [Singh] came and seen me last night and I am concerned about his mental state," night shift supervisor Stephen Harrison texted Tuteru in the early hours of April 22.
"He [Singh] was putting trucks on the wrong docks and had a sleep on the way back from Thomastown and slept in, he didn't get back to Lyndhurst till around 2.00pm. I was trying to ring him but his phone was off. I don't think he should be driving, I told him to go to the doctors straight away," the text continued.
In response Mr Teturu said: "Will speak to him".
The truckie was jailed for 22 years after pleading guilty to culpable driving causing death when he crashed into senior constables Lynette Taylor and Kevin King, along with constables Glen Humphris and Joshua Prestney.
Mr Harrison was questioned in the court on Tuesday about how Singh appeared to him during his night shift.
He said Singh didn't seem tired or frustrated the night before the crash but he did seem "confused".
The shift supervisor also recalled a "strange" comment Singh made about a war.
"He said to me he could remember a date from the war … it's the only thing I thought 'oh that's a bit strange'," Mr Harrison said.
In a police statement tendered to the court Mr Harrison said Singh seemed "confused about people's perceptions of him".
"I thought maybe he was being paranoid because people weren't….In that time I saw in my mind a guy who was having troubles at home,"the supervisor wrote in a statement.
The shift supervisor said he had just finished washing out a truck when Singh came up to him to talk about his "family issues".
"We discussed going to a doctor and he said the doctors are going to think I'm crazy. I said to him maybe ask the doctor about counselling for his personal issues," Mr Harrison wrote in his statement.
He told the court he had no idea at the time Singh was on drugs.
Mr Harrison told the court that another worker informed him that Singh was "half asleep" and made mistakes when backing into the loading bays.
But Mr Harrison said this worker, from chicken company Inghams, was a "colourful" person.
In his statement he described it as a "light hearted conversation" but the worker wasn't telling him Singh was tired.
Singh was high on ice and sleep-deprived on the day he killed the four police officers, who had stopped to pull over Porsche driver Richard Pusey, who was clocked speeding at 149km/h.
Pusey was urinating on the side of the road and avoided being hit.
Singh's daughter Harpreet Bajwa previously told the court she was scared of how her father was acting the day of the fatal crash.
"The way he was acting that day scared me, and I thought he was going to kill someone if he drove," Ms Bajwa told the court.
"His eyes were racing, his pupils were bigger and he seemed pretty terrified and couldn't stop speaking."
She said there was "something wrong with him that day".
Singh must spend at least 18 years and six months behind bars before he is eligible for parole.
The committal hearing in front of Magistrate Luisa Bazzani continues.
Originally published as Bombshell text before horror truck tragedy