23 Jan 2017

Five murder charges laid over deadly Melbourne crash

8:12 pm on 23 January 2017

The man accused of killing five people and injuring dozens of pedestrians by driving into a crowd in central Melbourne has been charged with five counts of murder.

A car has hit pedestrians in the centre of Melbourne, killing at least one person, Australian emergency services say.

A car hit pedestrians in Bourke Street in the centre of Melbourne on Friday, killing five people and injuring more than 30. Photo: Twitter / @TommyBick

The man accused of killing five people and injuring dozens of pedestrians during a rampage through Melbourne's CBD has been charged with five counts of murder.

Dimitrious Gargasoulas, 26, was earlier today taken in for questioning at Melbourne West police station on Spencer Street.

But he did not appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court as planned because he was unwell, his lawyer said.

He has been remanded in custody and ordered to face court via video link in August.

Mr Gargasoulas, who was on bail at the time of the attack, was arrested by police after the tragedy and has been in hospital with a gunshot wound.

Police were waiting for medical clearance to interview and charge him.

Chief Commissioner Ashton said Mr Gargasoulas had surgery on his arm on Saturday night.

Mr Gargasoulas was "well known" to police. He was charged with a crime on January 14 and was granted bail by an after-hours bail justice, despite police opposing it.

The Victorian government today announced a wide-ranging review of the bail system, and the establishment of a night court so magistrates can preside over bail hearings.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was his job to take the "anger and frustration" Victorians were feeling and put that into reform and change.

"All of us feel it. How could this have happened? How could such a tragedy have come to our city? How could so many lives end and so many lives change forever?" he said.

Mr Andrews said while the bail system had undergone many changes in the two years since his government came to office, it was clear "we need to go much further".

"We need to have a really close look at each and every element of our bail system and we need to make profound change for the future to keep Victoria safe," Mr Andrews said.

Five people died, including a three-month-old baby boy and 10-year-old Thalia Hakin, and more than 30 people were injured after the driver sped along a footpath in Melbourne's CBD Friday afternoon.

The names of two more people who were killed, 22-year-old Jess Mudie and 33-year-old Matthew Si, were released by police on Sunday afternoon.

Matthew Si and Jess Muddie were among the five people killed in Bourke St, Melbourne.

Matthew Si and Jess Muddie were among the five people killed in Bourke St, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied / Victoria Police

15 people still in hospital

The Victorian government has set up a fund for the families affected by the incident.

It pledged an initial $100,000 and said anyone who wanted to make a donation could do via the Victorian government's website.

A vigil is also being planned for tonight, at Federation Square.

Mr Andrews said 15 people remain in hospital, two of whom remain in a critical condition.

"We have grave fears for their health and well-being," he said.

The Jewish community held a community memorial and prayer service for Thalia last night.

Police have spoken to more than 300 witnesses about events at Bourke Street on Friday, and are urging others to come forward with videos or photos or the incident.

- ABC

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