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4 Australian police officers fatally struck during traffic stop

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a collision in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, which killed four police officers.
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a collision in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, which killed four police officers.
(Associated Press)

A truck killed four police officers who had detained a drug-affected speeding driver in a collision on a Melbourne, Australia, freeway, officials said Thursday.

The 41-year-old driver of a Porsche 911 who had been pulled over by police on the Eastern Freeway for speeding on Wednesday evening took photos of the grisly crash scene that followed, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.

The driver ran off and posted the images online, Ashton said.

The tragedy was the largest loss of police lives in a single incident in Victoria state, he said.

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The driver of a refrigerated truck was under police guard in a hospital on Thursday. He suffered a medical episode after the crash and had lost consciousness, Ashton said. It wasn’t clear whether the collision was an accident or deliberate, he said.

The Porsche driver, who has a criminal record, was in police custody and was being questioned by homicide detectives, Ashton said. He had been pulled over 50 minutes before the crash for driving at 25 mph above the speed limit, police said. He then tested positive for an illicit drug, police said.

The officers who pulled him over were in an emergency stopping lane arranging to impound the car when they were struck.

The truck hit the back of a police car, spinning it out of the lane, before crashing into the Porsche, which became wedged under the cabin.

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All the officers present — three men and a woman — died at the scene.


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