Trucking boss pleads not guilty to manslaughter over Eastern Freeway crash deaths

The former boss of killer truckie Mohinder Singh has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter over the deaths of four police officers killed in the Eastern Freeway collision.

Simiona Tuteru, the 50-year-old supervisor at trucking company Connect Logistics, will face trial over allegations he knew or ought to have known his employee Mohinder Singh was fatigued and not in a proper state to drive on the day of April 22 last year.

Trucking company manager Simiona Tuteru, who has been charged in connection to the Eastern Freeway crash, walks into court in early May.Credit:Simon Schluter

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney were killed when they were hit by a prime mover driven by Singh.

In the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning, Magistrate Luisa Bazzani said the evidence presented during the committal hearing was of sufficient weight and committed Mr Tuteru to trial.

Mr Tuteru faces four counts of manslaughter as well as a number of charges relating to his alleged failure to comply with duties under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Asked to enter a plea, Mr Tuteru stood up and said: “Not guilty your honour.”

He will remain on bail and next face the Supreme Court of Victoria on July 28.

Mohinder Singh gave evidence against his former boss on Wednesday. Credit:Nine News

The Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday heard for the first time Singh’s description of the days prior to the fatal crash on April 22 last year, as he gave evidence against his former boss, Mr Tuteru.

He said he told his boss that afternoon he was tired and had been cursed by a witch, prompting his Mr Tuteru to “pray in Jesus’ name to take the curse away”.

He said he agreed to drive on the day because he didn’t want to be fired.

More to come.

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