Melbourne attack: Kiwi released from hospital

  • 23/12/2017

A New Zealander injured when a car driver deliberately mowed pedestrians down at a busy Melbourne intersection has been discharged from hospital.

He is a 43-year-old who lives in the Melbourne suburb of Heathmont, Victorian Police said in a statement on Friday.

Twenty people were taken to hospital and 18 were admitted after a 32-year-old driver, an Australian citizen of Afghan descent, hit a crowd in Flinders Street on Thursday afternoon.

On Friday afternoon police said four people had been discharged and 14 remained in hospital, three in critical condition.

Nine of the victims are overseas nationals, including from South Korea, China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland and New Zealand.

The 32-year-old Heidelberg West man alleged to be the driver has been released from hospital and is in police custody.

Crime Department detectives will interview him once he has been medically cleared.

The off-duty police officer who arrested the driver remains in hospital, has undergone surgery, and is stable.

New Zealand's High Commission in Canberra earlier confirmed a Kiwi citizen had been hurt.

It had offered consular assistance to his family, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said.

Witnesses continue to come forward on Friday, telling how the car raced at up to 100km/h through pedestrians lined up at a busy crossing which is used by up to 600,000 people during the morning and afternoon peak.

"I was just walking down the street, just in front of the shop, and just hearing a thumping noise," a shop owner named as Socrates told the Nine Network.

"I turned to the left and I see this SUV just going really fast and then just, you know, people getting smashed everywhere."

The driver is known to police following a 2010 minor assault matter and has a history of drug use and mental health issues.

Victorian Police say there's no evidence to suggest any links to terrorism, but investigations are continuing.

The attack comes 11 months after six people were killed in a similar incident just four blocks away in Bourke Street.

NZN