A Noble Park man, 27, has been charged with numerous offences following a fatal collision in Catani near Koo Wee Rup on Friday morning that claimed the lives of four people.
Jobandeep Gill was refused bail during a bedside remand hearing and charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death, four counts of dangerous driving causing death, one count of reckless conduct endangering life and one count of failing to stop at a stop sign.
Catani horror smash, several feared dead
As many as six people are involved in a crash in Melbourne's south-east as a cattle truck collides with a car in Catani. Nine News.
Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives allege the truck he was driving west along Caldermeade Road collided with a car around 8.55am.
A man, 37, a woman, 33, a girl, 6, and a boy, 2, all from Poowong, were in the car and died in the collision. A boy, 9, survived and is currently at the Royal Children’s Hospital in a stable condition.
Police have confirmed they were members of the same family.
The car involved in the collision was travelling north along Heads Road at the time.
Gill will remain under police guard in hospital until he fronts the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Should he be released from hospital earlier, the detectives will apply to have his court date brought forward.
The nine-year-old boy who survived will be traumatised for life, police say.Four bodies were recovered from the car, which burst into flames and was "almost instantly incinerated"."
This is an horrific scene," Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said.
"We have a vehicle that is incinerated and we’ve got a number of corpses in that car."
The force of the crash pushed the car about 40 metres south along Caldermeade Road before the truck rolled on top of the car and both vehicles caught fire.
The young boy was ejected from the car on impact and "miraculously" survived the crash that killed everyone else inside the vehicle, police said.
Assistant Commissioner Hill said the boy was found wandering around the scene of the crash by a passer-by."He was the sole surviving occupant of the sedan and he is currently at the Royal Children’s Hospital suffering superficial injuries," he said.
"No doubt he is struggling. No doubt he will be struggling for life.
"The boy is being assisted by police officers and Department of Human Services staff."
Gill is a sub-contractor for Pakenham-based trucking company Asixa.
Specialist police officers were at the scene trying to identify the incinerated corpses trapped in the car.
Assistant Commissioner Hill said it was the worst crash scene he had been called to in a long time.
"We haven’t had a multiple fatality like this for some time on Victoria’s roads," he said.
"This is something that our members and the broader community have got to come to terms with - we have lost a number of lives here because of the fact that someone has made a mistake."
Trucking company Asixa chief executive Simone Turner issued a short statement following the crash.
"We can confirm that one of our contracted vehicles was involved in a collision near Catani," she said.
"We are deeply saddened by the serious nature of initial reports of the incident. We are awaiting further details from police."