Fourth officer killed in Eastern Freeway crash farewelled


His Gibson Les Paul guitar had earlier been placed on the altar inside along with a guitar he’d made for his partner Stacey, his Lakers jersey, Ironman medals presented by his father, and the 2010 AFL premiership cup won by his beloved Collingwood.

Josh was one of four Victoria Police officers hit and killed on the Eastern Freeway on April 22.

Constable Josh Prestney. Picture: Victoria PoliceSource:Supplied

Belinda Prestney kisses her son Josh’s casket as his brother, Alex, cries. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAP

Belinda Prestney kisses her son Josh’s casket as his brother, Alex, cries. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAPSource:AAP

He was farewelled today at Xavier College in Kew, where My Hero from one of his favourite bands the Foo Fighters was played, ahead of a wreath laying ceremony in South Yarra.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton led the hearse from the chapel as a piper played Amazing Grace.

“There’s going to be lots of things to celebrate his life, as short as it was,” Andrew Prestney told Triple M on Monday morning before his son’s funeral.

“Everyone has just rallied around us and we will get through today because we’re determined to do Josh proud.”

The casket is taken into the chapel at Xavier College. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The casket is taken into the chapel at Xavier College. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Andrew, Belinda, Alex and Josh Prestney. Both sons were Victoria Police officers.

Andrew, Belinda, Alex and Josh Prestney. Both sons were Victoria Police officers.Source:Supplied

He said the family had been “walking around in a fog” for the past fortnight.

“I best describe it to people as we’ve been on the world’s worst rollercoaster,” Mr Prestney said.

“Not much fun and we just want to get off.”

His son is being remembered as a passionate guitarist, triathlete and a much loved and respected member of his squad.

Josh with his father, Andrew. Picture: Instagram

Josh with his father, Andrew. Picture: InstagramSource:Supplied

He was just 28. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

He was just 28. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“He was my best mate,” Mr Prestney said.

“We had trips to Bali, we always went camping at the Melbourne Cup weekend … we would go interstate and compete in an Ironman.

“He could make that guitar sing. It was just one of his passions, one of his joys, music was one of his things.”

Supplied images from the family of Constable Josh Prestney. (L-R) Brother Alex, Mum Belinda, Dad Andrew and Josh.

Supplied images from the family of Constable Josh Prestney. (L-R) Brother Alex, Mum Belinda, Dad Andrew and Josh.Source:Supplied

Josh completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Australian College of the Arts in Melbourne prior to joining the force in May 2019.

He graduated in December where he was presented with his badge by his brother and fellow police officer, First Constable Alex Prestney.

“Both my boys are my heroes, Mr Prestney said.

“Josh is my hero and I love him.”

Josh and Alex Prestney in December 2019. Picture: Supplied by the family

Josh and Alex Prestney in December 2019. Picture: Supplied by the familySource:Supplied

Josh was working at Boroondara police station and had been on placement with Nunawading Highway Patrol at the time of his death. It was his second day in the job.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Glen Humphris were the other three officers who died at the scene.

The Prestneys took some flowers to the freeway last week, wrapped in Josh’s Collingwood members scarf.

All four officers will be remembered at a larger memorial service with full police honours, the chief commissioner said last month.

“It will have to be at a time when it is safe to do so and healthy to do so,” Mr Ashton said.

“But we have certainly kicked off the planning to make that happen.”

The four officers were hit and killed by a truck, driven by Mohinder Singh, after pulling over a Porsche driven by Richard Pusey. Both men remain before the courts.



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