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Batlow man charged over street racing

An 18-year-old Batlow man has been charged in relation to the death of Craig Smith, who was killed in a car crash in Wagga last Monday.

Police believe the collision occurred during a drag race, that saw Smith become collateral damage.

The Batlow man was allegedly driving the other vehicle involved in the drag race. He was arrested by Tumut Police on Friday morning and charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving occasioning death.

The man, who has not been named, will face court on January 10. It is alleged he was driving a black Holden commodore, and the other driver, aged 20, from Ashmont, was driving a blue Holden commodore with two other males in the car at the time of the collision.

The crash occurred at approximately 10am on Monday, October 23, at Coleman Street in the Wagga suburb of Turvey Park.

The offending vehicle was driving at such a high speed that Smith’s ute was pushed 30 metres down the road by the force of the impact, destroying it completely.

Smith’s colleague at Blue Ribbon Financial Services, which is located a few blocks away from the crash site, said that the pair of them were nearly hit by a motorbike travelling at approximately 180 kilometres an hour at the same spot several weeks earlier, in what appears to be a pattern of dangerous driving in the area.

The Coleman Street site has turned into a memorial for Smith, with loved ones leaving flowers and grieving messages for the departed husband, father, brother, and uncle.

A public service will also be held on Thursday, November 2, in the Mater Dei Primary School Hall near Lake Albert, commencing at 10am.

Smith was a financial advisor and a keen cyclist, footballer, well-liked colleague and friend to the elderly who came to him for financial advice, according to the Daily Advertiser.

The occupants of the other vehicle were admitted to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

They were attending TAFE prior to the alleged street race.