‘Highly respected’ Victorian police officer killed in crash identified


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A police officer and a man are killed in a “catastrophic” car accident in Victoria’s one night in the far northwest, with another officer fighting for his life in the hospital.

Bria Joyce, a “highly respected” 25-year-old female senior officer, was murdered after six years on the job.

Police said an unmarked Mildura Highway Unit police car and a ute collided yesterday around 10 p.m. on Kulkyne Way near Forbes Road in Red Cliffs.

Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton said the ute had veered on the wrong side of the road and caused a head-on collision with the police car, while a third car hit the police car from behind in a “catastrophic” accident.

The 23-year-old male driver of the ute died at the scene and has not yet been identified.

The officer’s colleague, a “highly esteemed” 43-year-old male senior officer, was taken to hospital in critical condition with internal and leg injuries.

Two young children, who were in the ute, were taken to hospital for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the third car and a child suffered minor injuries and were also taken to hospital.

A police officer has been taken to hospital in critical condition. (9News)

Police are trying to figure out how the accident happened.

Commissioner Patton said the police officers had general duties when the crash occurred.

“There is no indication that the police vehicle attempted to intercept anyone, there is no pursuit involved,” he said.

Detectives from the Major Collision Investigation Unit investigate the crash and use recreations to determine what happened.

Commissioner Patton said the crash is devastating for the close-knit community in Mildura and the police, especially as it approaches the anniversary of the crash that killed four officers in Melbourne.

“Nobody expects to go to work and not come home,” he said.

“This is an absolute tragedy for the police officers involved, for the families and friends of those police officers.

Police Chief Steve Patton talks about a car accident that killed a police officer and a man.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton talks about the car accident that killed a police officer and a man. (9News)

“It is a tragedy and absolutely heartbreaking for the family and friends of the civilian driver involved.

“You’re at a loss of words to describe this.”

The Kulkyne Way is expected to be closed today while detectives examine the crime scene.

Anyone who saw the crash or has dashcam footage is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

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