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Child among four dead as disturbed driver ploughs into crowd

By Kristen Gelineau

At least four people, including a child, were killed yesterday after a man with a history of mental illness and drug abuse drove onto a street packed with pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia.

The incident began in the early afternoon when the motorist was seen driving in erratic circles in the middle of a major junction in the city centre.

He then turned on to the Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian-only road, mowing people down before continuing to a pavement and hitting several others. Police shot and arrested him at the scene.

The incident came amid global concern over Islamic extremists using vehicles to strike crowds, following truck attacks in Berlin and Nice last year.

However, Melbourne police chief commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed that the latest incident was not linked to terrorism.

Sharn Baylis, a tourist from Adelaide, said she was on Bourke Street Mall when she mistook the car for an unmarked police vehicle before it started slamming into pedestrians.

"He was just collecting people as he was going along and they were flying like skittles, basically," she said."

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