A drug-affected driver has been arrested more than 12 hours after fleeing a truck crash which left four Victoria Police officers dead.
The 41-year-old man, who is known to police, is being interviewed by homicide detectives on April 23.
“Police have located the driver of a Porsche believed to be involved in the fatal collision involving the death of four police members in Kew yesterday,” a police statement reads.
The police investigation into the exact cause of the collision remains ongoing and a coronial investigation into the fatal incident will start.
Coroner Darren Bracken will run the investigation and has told Victoria Police to compile a coronial brief of evidence.
The arrested man was behind the wheel of a Porsche pulled over by officers on the Eastern Freeway on Wednesday evening and he had tested positive to drugs.
More officers were called to impound the car and while all four police were standing by the side of the road, a truck ploughed into them.
The Porsche driver ran from the scene and it’s alleged he took photos of the crash and shared them on social media.
Flags are flying at half-mast across Victoria on Thursday in honour of the female senior constable, male senior constable and two male constables, one of whom recently joined the force.
“It is an unprecedented event for us to lose so many officers in one event. Officers just doing their work, just doing their job,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Thursday.
Two of the officers had pulled over the black Porsche 911, after it was clocked at 140km/h on the freeway about 4.50pm on Wednesday.
The crash happened about 50 minutes later.
The truck driver had a medical episode after the crash, blacked out and is in hospital under police guard.
Police raided the truck driver’s Cranbourne home on Wednesday night and are yet to reveal what they found.
Trevor, a cousin of one of the deceased officers and who drives a truck similar to the one in the crash, told Melbourne radio 3AW he was shocked by the tragedy.
“It hasn’t hit home yet, but the job they do, I don’t think is respected enough,” he said.
Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said the deaths were felt across the state and hopes “we never have another day like this”.
“There is nothing ordinary about pulling on the police uniform. The jobs is a hard one, a tough one,” he told reporters.
“We become normalised because we do it every day, but when our members do that every day they are sacrificing a little part of their safety.”
Premier Daniel Andrews asked all Victorians to pause and honour Victoria Police officers for the work they do.
“To live a life in the service of others is a deeply impressive thing, to lose your life in the service and protection of others is a tragedy,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called it a “dark day” for the police force.
More than $44,000 has been raised towards a $2 million target for the families of the deceased police officers via a GoFundMe page.
The semitrailer was removed late on Thursday morning and the freeway remains closed between Bulleen Road and the Chandler Highway.
By Christine McGinn and Uli Izquierdo