Man's harrowing last words before fatal collision with police car

The last words of a man who died after colliding with an unmarked police car in rural Victoria have been revealed, as friends and family mourn the 23-year-old's death.

Josh Moore was driving to his friend's house at around 10pm on Friday when police said his Nissan Navara ute veered into the path of the oncoming police vehicle on Kulkyne Way in Red Cliffs, near Mildura, killing him and a young police officer.

The man's friend Adam Leigh revealed he'd spoken to Mr Moore not long before the tragic accident.

Young man Josh Moore with  Victoria Police Senior Constable Bria Joyce
Josh Moore, 23, and Snr Cons Joyce both died at the scene after their cars collided. Source: Seven/Victoria Police

"He said: ‘I’ll be there shortly’... He never turned up," he told Seven News.

Mr Leigh learned of his friend's accident the next morning when Mr Moore's mum texted him saying "he wasn’t with us anymore".

Both Mr Moore and the policewoman – who was later identified as 25-year-old Victoria Police Senior Constable Bria Joyce – died at the scene.

Meanwhile, a male leading senior constable who was in the car with Snr Cons Joyce was taken to Mildura Base Hospital with critical injuries.

He was later airlifted to Melbourne, where he now remains in a stable condition.

'Absolutely heartbreaking' crash police chief says

The officers had started a routine highway patrol shift at 6pm the night of the accident.

At a press conference on Saturday morning, Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police are investigating the collision and the exact circumstances surrounding the crash are still to be determined.

"I can say at this stage there is no indication of any attempt by the police vehicle to be intercepting anyone, no pursuit involved," Commissioner Patton said.

"It is a tragedy and absolutely heartbreaking."

Long road Kulkyne Way in Red Cliffs, just south of Mildura
The collision happened on Kulkyne Way in Red Cliffs, just south of Mildura. Source: Google Maps

A third vehicle was also involved in the collision, hitting the police vehicle from the rear.

Fortunately, the two adults and three children in the third vehicle were not seriously injured and were transferred to the hospital for assessment.

The Police Association Victoria said the impact of the tragedy would ripple through the entire police force.

"To the colleagues and friends of our fallen member, days like today are the toughest we face in policing. We are thinking of you, and we stand beside you always," Secretary Wayne Gatt said in a statement.

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