Victorian police are grateful for a quick arrest that might have prevented further harm to people after a motorist died and five others were injured in a Melbourne CBD car ramming.
One person was killed and five others injured after a car ploughed into pedestrians at a busy tram stop and two other vehicles along busy Bourke St in the CBD last night.
Bourke St was closed overnight, but reopened this morning after tow trucks removed a white Hyundai whose 76-year-old driver died in the crash, and a grey Mazda SUV – believed to be an Uber – from the scene.
Three pedestrians – a 26-year-old man from South Yarra, a 23-year-old woman from China and a 35-year-old woman from Docklands – were taken to hospital. Two are in a stable condition and the other remains in a serious condition.
Two people travelling in the grey Mazda, aged 30 and 37 and both from Diggers Rest, were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Superintendent Zorka Dunstan said the driver, a 26-year-old man from Melton West, was arrested at the scene and taken into police custody.
Video footage of the arrest shared on social media shows a man with long dark hair, wearing white pants and a white long-sleeved top and no shoes, sitting on top of his white Toyota sedan following the incident.
Dunstan said three officers on foot patrol nearby were able to take the driver into custody quickly.
“Obviously any incident of this magnitude is concerning for Victoria Police but at this stage, there are no terrorist links,” she said at the scene last night.
She said the man was known to police through “mental health interactions” and was undergoing a mental health assessment.
“I can assure the community that there is no ongoing threat,” she said.
“We’re just grateful that we had that quick arrest and there were no further injuries.”
Police said the man was in hospital under police guard.
The streets of Melbourne were packed yesterday ahead of Carlton’s blockbuster AFL clash against Sydney at the MCG.
Police were grateful to bystanders who came to the aid of the injured.
“In any of these situations, it’s obviously critical that we get assistance where we can,” Dunstan said.
“We were obviously very grateful for the people who’ve rendered assistance and we’ll also be speaking to them and offering support.”
Dunstan urged witnesses and anyone with dashcam footage to contact police.