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One dead, five hospitalised after man mows down

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One person is dead and five others are hospitalised after a driver allegedly ran over several pedestrians before colliding with two vehicles in Melbourne’s CBD. 

Victoria Police Superintendent Zorka Dunstan told reporters a white Toyota sedan hit three people near a tram stop at the intersection of Bourke and Swanston Streets – an area closed to vehicle traffic – at about 6.20pm on Friday.

All three were taken to hospital with minor injuries. 

She said the driver then collided with a Hyundai and Mazda at the intersection of Bourke and Russell Streets, killing one person. 

“The driver of the Hyundai is deceased and the occupants of the Mazda have been transported to hospital with minor injuries,” she said on Friday night. 

Supt Dunstan said the two occupants in the Mazda were an Uber driver and their passenger. 

She said two officers rushed out of Melbourne East Police Station on Bourke Street and swiftly arrested the alleged offender, who was on the roof of his vehicle. 

“A 26-year-old male from Melton West is currently in custody and he is undergoing a mental health assessment,” she said. 

“The man is known to police, he is recorded with us for some mental health interactions.”

Friday’s tragic incident occurred on the same street as the 2017 car massacre, where James Gargasoulas was jailed after deliberately driving into pedestrians.

He killed six people and seriously injured a further 27.  

Supt Dunstan, however, assured residents there were no suggested links to terrorism at this point in their investigations. 

Shocking footage of the incident emerged on social media and showed a number of people on the ground while others rushed to help. 

Crowds of people lined the streets with emergency services all on the scene. 

“In any of these situations it’s obviously critical that we get assistance where we can, we’re obviously very grateful to the people who rendered assistance,” Supt Dunstan said. 

Police have closed off Bourke Street from Swanston Street through to Exhibition Street, as well as Russell Street from Collins Street to Lonsdale Street. The area will be blocked off throughout the night as officers investigate. 

“I can assure the community, there is no ongoing threat to the community,” Supt Dunstan said.

Anyone with dash cam footage or information is urged to contact police on Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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