Eastern Freeway crash: Police raise $330,000 in running tribute to four officers killed in Kew tragedy

Published by the Herald Sun on 30 May 2020

They lost four members of their own. But hundreds of police are about to complete a heartwarming initiative for the families of four officers killed in last month’s Eastern Freeway tragedy.

A young constable’s marathon effort to honour four fallen police will tomorrow culminate in a $330,000 gift to their families.

First Constable Charlotte Peak, 24, will complete the final leg of a month-long pledge to run 159.485km — representing the sum of the registered numbers for each officer killed in last month’s Eastern Freeway tragedy.

More than 300 serving and retired police have also taken up the challenge, with dozens to join Constable Peak in the final few kilometres from the Victoria Police Academy to the Victoria Police Memorial on St Kilda Rd.

Money raised will push the donations to a special Victoria Police Legacy fund to more than $2.4 million.

Constable Peak came up with the running tribute idea with paramedic friend Dom Strickland as part of the annual Run4Blue challenge.

They hoped to raise $4000.

“I wanted to do something to remember them and to honour their memory — and it snowballed from there,’’ Constable Peak said.

“The support has been overwhelming.

“We’ve had people who decided they wanted to run with us, people walking, we’ve got people rowing and people cycling.”

The final stretch of the epic run will pass the four police stations where Leading Sen-Constable Lynette Taylor, Sen-Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney worked.

About three dozen police will run in relay carrying four batons each inscribed with one of the fallen officer’s names and registration number.

“Nothing will ever be enough — nothing can ease the pain for the families,’’ Constable Peak said.

“But it’s something and I hope it can help them in a small way.”

Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt, who with Victoria Police Legacy chief Lex de Man will be at the finish line, said the Kew tragedy had deeply affected police statewide.

“The efforts of these members captures the collective spirit of police officers and PSOs,’’ Mr Gatt said.

“We said we would never forget and we won’t.”

Businessman Anthony Pratt pledged $250,000 to the police fund while the Sunday Herald Sun gave $40,000 from paper sales, which hardware chain Bunnings matched.

To donate to the fund go to givenow.com.au/vpl.