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Duncan Murray

Trucking boss fined over crash that killed four cops

Four police officers died in the truck crash tragedy in Melbourne in 2020. (Scott Barbour/AAP PHOTOS)

An executive of the trucking company involved in the deaths four Victorian police officers has been fined $70,000 for rampant breaches of safety standards in the lead up to the crash.

Shane Chalmers pleaded guilty last year to breaching his duties as an executive, with a Sydney Local Court handing down the punishment on Friday.

He was also ordered to pay $60,000 in professional costs to the prosecution.

Driver Mohinder Singh was fatigued and high on drugs when his semi-trailer ploughed into the officers who had stopped a speeding Porsche driven by Richard Pusey on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway in April 2020.

Following the crash, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator brought charges against the company and executives relating to failures to properly monitor driver fatigue and drug and alcohol use.

Sydney- based Connect Logistics was earlier this month fined $2,310,000, while national director Corey Matthews was fined $22,500, after both also pleaded guilty to breaching safety responsibilities.

At the time of the accident, Connect held a lucrative contract with poultry supplier Inghams delivering chickens to KFCs and supermarkets across metro Melbourne, as well as shuttling slaughtered animals to processing plants.

Issues were raised in the lead up to the crash with the number of hours being worked by some of the drivers, which in rare cases were up to 20 hours a day.

Matthews sent Chalmers and another executive, Cris Large, to Victoria to deal with the issues, a court heard during a sentence hearing for Connect and Matthews.

The court was told instead of driving fewer hours, Melbourne supervisor and driver Simiona Tuteru started falsifying time sheets by putting hours in the names of other drivers.

Lawyer for Connect and Matthews, Trish McDonald, said Large and Chalmers allegedly knew of the falsified time sheets.

The officers killed in the 2020 crash were leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney.

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