A truck driver who hit and killed four Melbourne police officers while high on drugs told a colleague his boss had "cleaned his spirit" and rid him of a curse before the crash.
That boss, Connect Logistics manager Simiona Tuteru, faces 82 charges including manslaughter after allegedly directing or requiring Mohinder Singh to work while fatigued.
Singh insisted on delivering by "this one load" that fatal afternoon in April 2020, fellow truck driver Michael Horrocks told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
"He said that his boss and him prayed together and that his boss had 'cleaned his spirit' and got rid of the curse," Mr Horrocks also said in a police statement.
He told the court Singh spoke about being possessed by a witch, but said he was feeling better after the prayer. He planned to "deliver this one load and go home and rest."
Singh described it as a "very important load".
Under questioning from Tuteru's barrister, David Hallowes SC, Mr Horrocks said he didn't know whether Singh was under instruction to make the delivery or just insisted on it himself.
"I told him 'you seem really out dude, you shouldn't be driving'," Mr Horrocks said.
Later that afternoon, Singh veered a 19-tonne semi-trailer into the emergency lane of the Eastern Freeway.
The crash killed Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
Singh was earlier this year jailed for up to 22 years after admitting to four counts of culpable driving causing death, as well as drug trafficking and possession charges.
Tuteru, 49, is facing a committal hearing to determine if he will stand trial for charges including multiple breaches of heavy vehicle regulations.
Other charges include obtaining financial advantage by deception for time sheets allegedly submitted in a false name to hide the real number of hours worked.
The court has been told about truck drivers using drugs, and their requirement to sign a form saying they weren't drug or alcohol affected at the start of each shift.
One of Singh's associates, who was not a truck driver, said the man "was using meth every way you can".
It was estimated he had just five hours of sleep in the 72 hours before the crash, the effects of which were equivalent to being six times the blood-alcohol limit.
During the night shift before the crash, Connect Logistics supervisor Stephen Harrison received a call raising concerns about Singh's demeanour.
Mr Harrison subsequently text Mr Tuteru saying: "I am concerned about his (Singh's) mental state".
"I don't think he should be driving. I told him to go to (the) doctors straight away," the text also said, according to court documents.
The committal is due to continue on Thursday.