Truck boss’s denial after police die in Porsche tragedy
The trucking company boss charged over the Eastern Freeway crash that killed four police officers will fight the accusations against him.
Simiona Tuteru is charged with four counts of manslaughter, one for each of the police officers killed in the horror crash on April 22: Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
His lawyer David Hallowes SC told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday there wasn't "evidence of sufficient weight" for him to be committed for trial.
Mr Tuteru is a manager at Connect Logistics, the company employing driver Mohinder Singh - who hit the four officers after they pulled over Porsche driver Richard Pusey for allegedly speeding on the Eastern Freeway in Kew.
Police will allege Mr Tuteru should never have allowed Singh behind the wheel.
The truck driver was on an ice binge, the court heard.
Singh hadn't slept because a witch had cursed him, he told police after the horror crash.
The witch "put a spell on me and I couldn't sleep at all," he told police.
He had only rested for five hours in three days.
The court heard the driver was the "most drug-f***ed" person one witness had seen in their life.
One road user who saw his driving said "this dude's going to f***ing kill someone" in the lead-up to the crash, with other witnesses reporting him drifting between lanes in his semi-trailer before he hit the four officers.
Police will allege Singh's boss, Mr Tuteru, should also have to answer for the fact he was on the road at all.
But Mr Tuteru will fight those accusations in a five-day committal process in May, which will test if the case against him is strong enough to proceed to trial.
The court heard 22 witnesses will be called for cross-examination.
They include people who came into contact with Singh in the lead-up to the crash and will speak to his behaviour before he climbed into the driver's seat of the prime mover on April 22.
They will share their observations of Singh from when he finished his shift at 2am on April 18 up until 5.36pm on April 22, when he hit the officers.
"The issue is going to be (Mr Tuteru's) knowledge of Mr Singh's impairment," prosecutor Jason Ong said on Friday.
Two witnesses will speak to Connect Logistics' procedures and practices.
There will also be expert witnesses to speak to fatigue and ice use, and the impact of those factors on driving.
The court heard the brief of evidence against Mr Tuteru runs to 1736 pages and includes additional audio files, CCTV, documents, maps and diagrams, photographs and video files.
The four police officers were standing in the emergency lane of the Eastern Freeway at 5.36pm because they had pulled over Mr Pusey for allegedly speeding.
About 5.30pm Singh veered into the scene, killing them.
Mr Pusey, 42, is accused of filming and taunting Leading Senior Constable Taylor as she died.
He has pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges including reckless conduct endangering death, possessing a drug of dependence and outraging public decency.
The Porsche driver will stand trial and will next appear on December 15.
Singh pleaded guilty this month to four counts of culpable driving causing death, dealing with the proceeds of crime, possessing a drug of dependence and drug trafficking, and will be sentenced next year.
Mr Tuteru will next appear in court in May.
Originally published as Truck boss's denial after Porsche tragedy