A British physicist who had been in the country only 20 minutes and a young taxi driver were killed in a horror high-speed smash involving a stolen car in Kewdale after the pair left Perth International Airport yesterday.
The 36-year-old man had just arrived in Perth for a week-long physics conference on Rottnest Island and had flagged down a taxi driven by 28-year-old Kuldeep Singh — due to become a father for the first time in a fortnight.
As Mr Singh turned his taxi right from Leach Highway off ramp on to Orrong Road shortly before 2am, a late model Toyota FJ cruiser that was stolen from a Secret Harbour home on October 16 slammed into the driver’s side of the car.
The impact was devastating and left debris scattered across the busy intersection.
The men are believed to have been killed instantly as the taxi was pushed almost 50m along Orrong Road.
Mr Singh’s sister Parwinder Kaur said her brother had started his night shift two hours later — at 8pm on Thursday — so he could go shopping for baby supplies.Mr Singh arrived in Australia six years ago, spending three years in Melbourne before moving to Perth.
He married his wife Harpreet, 26, last year in India before bringing her to Perth in March.
Ms Kaur was concerned how the family would survive financially because her brother had been supporting his family both in Perth and India.
“If we go back we don’t have a future there, we need financial help,” Ms Kaur said.
Friends also turned to Facebook to express their grief at Mr Singh’s death.
“One dark moment changed the destiny and left with memories and your photographs,” one message translated from Hindi said.
“Heartfelt condolences to the family of the innocent victims of these senseless crimes.”
The alleged driver of the Toyota, 23-year-old Antony Fogarty, is understood to have fractures to both legs.
He was charged with two counts of manslaughter and faced a bedside hearing at Royal Perth Hospital, where he was remanded to reappear in Stirling Gardens Magistrate’s Court on October 31.
Assistant Commissioner Gary Budge confirmed that the Toyota had been engaged in a short pursuit before the crash, but that chase was aborted on Canning Highway near Berwick Street in Victoria Park when the driver switched the headlights off.
The police helicopter followed covertly and is understood to have filmed the devastating crash.
Major crash and internal affairs detectives are collecting footage from red-light cameras, Main Roads and the wrecked taxi in a bid to trace the movements of the Toyota before the crash.
“The circumstances that will be alleged are that the taxi had collected a passenger from the airport and was proceeding along Leach Highway to the city,” Mr Budge said.
“At the intersection of the Orrong Road off ramp it will be alleged a stolen Toyota FJ cruiser travelling south-east crashed into the taxi, killing both the taxi driver and his passenger.
“Police will also allege the driver of the cruiser proceeded through a red light at speed before the crash.”
The Weekend West understands detectives had been searching for the vehicle as they believed it had been used by a gang involved in a series of ram-raid offences across Perth in recent weeks.
The double tragedy reignited (debate on police pursuits although it is understood the closest police car was up to 4km away from( the Toyota when the crash occurred.Police have urged anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.