30 Jan 2009

Father accused of throwing girl from bridge

6:03 am on 30 January 2009

The father of a four-year-old girl who was reportedly thrown 58 metres from a bridge in Australia into the river below has been charged with her murder.

Witnesses said a man stopped his car on Melbourne's West Gate Bridge and threw the child over the side.

Melbourne police said the suspect, 36, may have been involved in a custody dispute with his wife.

The girl died a few hours later, after being airlifted to the city's Royal Children's Hospital, officials said.

She had been rescued from the Yarra River in critical condition, and police spent 45 minutes attempting to resuscitate her on the riverbank before she was transported to the hospital.

Two other children were in the car at the time of the incident, which happened during the morning rush hour as hundreds of other motorists were using the bridge, police said.

Police said the "visibly distressed" man was arrested outside a Melbourne court that deals with family matters shortly after the incident.