A BUSINESSMAN has suffered horrific leg injuries in a freak accident that saw him pinned between a taxi and a van in the drop-off lane at Melbourne Airport.
Doctors were unable to save the 32-year-old man’s right leg, which was amputated at the knee.
The man is from Indonesia and had been in Australia on a business trip with four other work colleagues, who were standing nearby when he was crushed by the cab.
Police are investigating whether mechanical failure or driver error were to blame.
But the Herald Sun understands the taxi driver, Amir Khan, who was not injured, told detectives his foot slipped and got caught on the accelerator.
Mr Khan, 34, who moved to Australia from Pakistan five years ago, told investigators it was only his fourth shift as a cabbie.
Investigators said he was “visibly upset” when he watched CCTV footage of the incident during his police interview.
Horrified witnesses have told police the Indonesian national was standing behind the transport van with its driver, who was helping him remove his bags, when the yellow cab struck them.
The impact flung the van driver — a 46-year-old Australian — on to the footpath.
He suffered head and shoulder injuries and is in a stable condition at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
But the traveller became wedged between the taxi’s bonnet and the back of the van and he was rushed to the same hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and remains in a serious but stable condition.
Speaking at the scene, Senior Sergeant Shayne Kerley said the cab had been stationary about 9am behind the parked van, when it suddenly accelerated and crashed into the pair at up to 40km/h.
Mr Amir, with his face covered by his hoodie, ran out of Moonee Ponds police station and into a waiting car after he was released following police questioning this afternoon.
He is expected to be charged on summons with multiple driving offences.
13 CABS client services manager Simon Purssey said they were saddened by the incident but could not comment further because it was subject to a police investigation.
He said the driver would be questioned and given assistance by their driver support service unit.
The crash caused major traffic delays at the airport with the drop-off ramp shut down for four hours while Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives investigated.