‘Something was wrong’ on day of crash, truck driver’s daughter tells court

The daughter of the truck driver who took the lives of four police officers believed her father was going to kill someone if he got behind the wheel, but he went to work because he thought he was going to get fired, a court has heard.

Simiona Tuteru, the 49-year-old supervisor at the trucking company that Mohinder Singh worked at, is before a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court facing 82 charges.

Simiona Tuteru arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday morning.Credit:Nine News

Most of Mr Tuteru’s charges are related to his duties overseeing Singh, and the most serious allegations are four counts of manslaughter over the deaths of four police officers who were killed on the Eastern Freeway on April 22 last year.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney were hit by a prime mover driven by Singh when he veered into the emergency lane.

Singh, jailed last month for a maximum 22 years after pleading guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, is set to give evidence against his boss Mr Tuteru.

Previous court hearings heard that Singh was an ice user who was sleep-deprived and believed he had been cursed by a witch.

Mohinder Singh leaves the Supreme Court during his trial in March. He was jailed for 22 years with a non-parole period of 18 years.Credit:Jason South

Singh’s wife and son told the court on Monday it wasn’t unusual for Singh to talk about seeing ghosts or witches and he had spoken of ghouls for years.

But before the crash, Singh’s 21-year-old daughter Harpreet Bajwa said her father seemed worse.

Her father said he had to go into work at the Connect Logistics depot to attend a meeting to make sure he didn’t get fired, Ms Bajwa told the court under cross-examination from Mr Tuteru’s lawyer David Hallowes, SC.

“The way he was acting that day scared me and I thought he was going to kill someone if he drove,” she said.

Senior Constable Kevin King (left), Constable Josh Prestney, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Glen Humphris were killed on the Eastern Freeway.Credit:

“His eyes were racing, his pupils were bigger and he seemed pretty terrified and couldn’t stop speaking; he kept repeating himself.”

Ms Bajwa said she told her father to stay home, but he didn’t feel like he had a choice and would get fired if he didn’t show up. He was supposed to see a psychiatrist, Singh’s daughter told the court.

Crown prosecutor Robyn Harper is prosecuting the case, which is before magistrate Luisa Bazzani this week. Committal hearings are used for a magistrate to assess whether the evidence against an accused was strong enough to proceed to a trial before a higher court.

Mr Hallowes told the court prosecutors planned to rely on Singh as a witness in the case and his “credibility and reliability” would be an issue that could form part of the cross-examination.

The committal hearing continues this week.

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