Officer charged in fatal Indigenous teen crash

A police officer has been charged with negligent and dangerous driving over Jai Wright's death.

A police officer has been charged with negligent and dangerous driving over Jai Wright's death. Photo: AAP

The family of an Indigenous teenager who died riding a trail bike that collided with an unmarked police car say they are “emotional and relieved” after charges were laid against the officer involved.

Jai Kalani Wright suffered critical head injuries when he crashed into the unmarked car, throwing him from the trail bike in inner-city Sydney on February 19, 2022.

The 16-year-old died the following day at Prince Alfred Hospital.

A court attendance notice was filed on Monday against the officer at the wheel, who will face charges of negligent driving occasioning death and dangerous driving occasioning death.

“It’s been two years without our vibrant, beautiful son beside us,” Jai’s parents, Lachlan Wright and Kylie Aloua, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“He was funny, witty, and loved by so many people.”

The family thanked their community for support but asked supporters to hold back on comments about the case while the legal process plays out.

An inquest last month into the teenager’s death heard the bike Jai was riding had been stolen, along with a black Mercedes and a white BMW, about 7am on the day of the collision.

Counsel assisting Peggy Dwyer SC said there was no controversy surrounding the time, place, date or medical cause of death.

“The real issue concerns the manner of his death and the circumstances surrounding his death,” she told the court.

CCTV and in-car video footage played to the court showed an unmarked silver Holden Commodore sedan swing around in front of the bike which then hit the police vehicle at high speed.

A critical incident investigation led by Sydney City Police at the time did not recommend any charges.

However, NSW State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan suspended the proceedings and referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider laying charges.

The Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed proceedings will be taken against a known person in relation to the death of Jai Wright.

The matter is listed at the Downing Centre Local Court on March 21.

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