Constable Glen Humphris — one of the four police officers killed in a fatal crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway — has been remembered by his partner as a “bubbly, outgoing and loving” person who was “so proud” to have joined Victoria Police.
- Constable Humphris’ partner Todd Robinson was making dinner for the couple when he heard about the crash
- Five senior police officers delivered the tragic news in person two hours later
- Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has offered his thanks following an outpouring of community support
Constable Humphris died along with Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney after they were hit by a truck on Wednesday.
The four officers had been standing in the emergency lane of the freeway as they prepared to impound a Porsche 911 being driven by 41-year-old Melbourne mortgage broker Richard Pusey.
The tragedy has sparked an outpouring of support from the wider community which has been acknowledged by the state’s top cop.
‘Adventurous’ couple bonded over outdoor activities
Speaking at a press conference, Todd Robinson said his partner was a person who “lit up a room and respected everybody’s opinion”.
He said the pair met in Newcastle four years ago, bonding over their love of the outdoors, and their first date was a 30-kilometre bike ride.
Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Josh Prestney and Constable Glen Humphris have been remembered as officers who were passionate about keeping the community safe. (Supplied: Victoria Police)
“We just bonded as outdoor people, we got into triathlons, loved running, loved running on the beaches in Newcastle,” he said.
Mr Robinson said they were an “adventurous” couple.
“We’d be out camping, we’d be out hiking,” he said. “His type of adventure and fun was, for my birthday in January he threw me out of a plane skydiving saying, ‘You’re coming with me’.”
They moved to Melbourne together, after eight months of dating, for Mr Robinson’s work with the Department of Defence.
He said Constable Humphris was inspired to work in a role serving the community.
“He loved helping people and being supportive of the community,” he said.
Mr Robinson said on Wednesday he had been preparing dinner for the pair when he heard on the news that there had been a crash on the Eastern Freeway.
He said his concern grew when Constable Humphris didn’t respond to his text messages.
“After two hours of not hearing anything it was confirmed on TV that four had been killed. That moment I got a knock on the door with five senior police officers there,” he said.
Mr Robinson said he chose to speak publicly to celebrate his partner.
“To let everybody know he wore a uniform, but he was a person under that uniform. He came home to someone,” he said.
Mr Robinson said things were looking good for the pair in Melbourne before Wednesday’s crash.
He said Constable Humphris loved his new job, they had started making new friends and settling into their adopted city and had been making plans for a holiday in the US.
An ‘unbelievable outpouring’ from community
Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton earlier offered thanks to the wider Victorian community for its support.
“I just wanted to take the opportunity today to formally thank the Victorian community for their unbelievable outpouring of support for our policing community, particularly for officers who lost their lives on Wednesday night, also for their families and also for the broader policing family,” he said.
“We are very, very appreciative of all the support that has been provided to us.”
Flinders Street Station in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD was among the buildings to turn blue. (ABC News: Gemma Hall)
Last night, Melbourne landmarks were illuminated in blue in tribute to the two senior constables and two newly graduated constables killed in the crash.
Chief Commissioner Ashton said it was heartening for Victorian officers to see the support from the wider community and police services from Australia and abroad.
Tributes were placed at Boroondara Police Station in tribute to the four police officers. (ABC News: Billy Draper)
He said four small services for the officers would be held. Fewer than 10 people would be allowed to attend in order to maintain physical distancing rules, but they would be live-streamed for other officers to follow.
A larger service would be held at a later date, he added.
Chief Commissioner Ashton said more than 142,000 messages of condolence had been left on the Victoria Police Facebooks page.
“I was personally deeply touched by the depth of condolence and well-wishes in those comments so we’re very, very grateful,” he said.
Mr Pusey has been remanded in custody until July after a brief appearance in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning charged with speeding, failing to assist at a crash scene and drug offences.
The driver of the truck remains in hospital but police may have interviewed him on Friday