Matt Wright, a reality TV star, has spoken out after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of his co-star earlier this year.
In the Northern Territory on February 28, Chris “Willow” Wilson, who also starred in the films Outback Wrangler and Wild Croc Territory, was gathering crocodile eggs when the helicopter he was riding in crashed, killing him and seriously injuring a second man.
Per Sky News Australia, Wright, 43, has now been asked to appear before Darwin police. It is anticipated that he will face charges for several offenses, including perverting the course of justice, destroying evidence, fabricating evidence, interfering with witnesses, and two counts of unauthorized entry.
In a statement, a Wright spokesman said that Wright “strenuously denies any misconduct. What happened was a horrible accident that claimed the life of a good friend.”
“The two team members who were on board at the time of the disaster were his first priority. The next step was to make sure the place was secure and that no team members or other helicopters were in danger.”
“Matt won’t be making any further statements, but he’ll be vehemently disputing the accusations.”
Wright, who resides in Queensland, has until Wednesday to appear before Darwin police, who have been looking into the crash for more than six months.
How Matt Wright Responded to the Crash
Wright flew to the scene of the crash in another helicopter with three other people. Two of those people, Michael Burbidge, a pilot, and Neil Mellon, a police officer, have now been accused of several felonies, including tampering with evidence.
Mellon will appear in court once more on December 7 after being charged with 35 offenses. His charges include making false statements and attempting to tamper with the course of justice.
On January 25, Burbidge will be back in court to answer four charges, including attempting to obstruct justice, destroying evidence, making false statements and falsifying evidence.
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Wright paid a touching homage to the man he called a “brother” on social media in the days following the accident.
On March 11, he shared a series of images with his 510K Instagram followers, writing, “Willow, you truly were an amazing person. A father every kid would wish for, a husband every man would aspire to be, a son to be proud of and a mate that’s a brother.”
“You accomplished so much, positively affected those around you, and crafted adventures that demonstrated to everyone how to make the most of our time on this planet. You have left behind an incredible legacy.”
Wright expressed his gratitude that Wilson’s family would be able to watch episodes of their television work to keep his memory alive.