Reality TV star Matt Wright has broken his silence after an arrest warrant was issued for him in connection with a fatal helicopter crash that killed his co-star earlier this year.
Chris “Willow” Wilson, who also starred in Outback Wrangler and Wild Croc Territory, was collecting crocodile eggs in the Northern Territory on February 28 when the helicopter he was in crashed, killing Wilson and seriously injuring a second man.
Wright, 43, has now been asked to present himself to police in Darwin, Sky News Australia reported, and is expected to be charged with multiple offences, including tampering with the right lane, destroying evidence, falsifying evidence , the disturbance of witnesses and two charges of unauthorized entry.
In a statement to NCA NewsWire, a spokesman for Wright said he “strongly denies any wrongdoing.”
“What happened was a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a close friend,” the spokesman said.
“His immediate concern after the accident was the condition of the two crew members on board at that point.
“The next priority was to ensure that the other helicopters and team members on the scene were not endangered and that the site was safe.
“Matt will not provide any further explanation, but he will vigorously defend the charges.”
Wright has been living in Queensland and has until Wednesday to report to police in Darwin, where the crash has been investigated for more than six months.
The 43-year-old flew to the crash site with three other people in another helicopter.
Two of those people – pilot Michael Burbidge and police officer Neil Mellon – have since been charged with a range of offenses including destroying evidence.
Both remain in court.
Former senior acting Sergeant Mellon has been charged with 35 offenses and will return to court on December 7.
His charges include attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroying evidence and providing false information.
Burbidge will appear in court again on January 25 on four counts, including attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroying evidence, making false statements and fabricating evidence.
In the days after the crash, Wright gave a heartfelt tribute to the man, whom he called a “brother,” on social media.
“Willow, you truly were an amazing person — a father every child would want, a husband every man would aspire to, a son to be proud of and a pal that’s a brother,” captioned he shared a series of images with his 510K Instagram followers on March 11.
“You left an incredible legacy – you’ve accomplished so much, impacted those around you for the better and created adventures that have shown everyone how best to spend our time here.”
He said he was grateful that Wilson’s family could memorialize his memory by watching episodes of their television work.
“Dude, you were made for television with a natural charisma and a way with words that lit up the screen and made our shows what they are,” he said.
“I am grateful to Dani and the boys will forever be able to watch you and your adventures.”
Wright’s wife Kaia gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Dusty Faith, on November 18.
“Willow – how grateful I am that you and @mattwright found each other in this life to play together,” she wrote in a March tribute to Wilson.
“Thank you for being an amazing uncle to banjo, he loved his widow and thank you for answering every single one of my calls when I needed advice or to turn the breeze, you are the friggin best.”
Sebastian Robinson, who had been piloting the helicopter at the time, suffered serious spinal injuries in the crash but survived.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/28/reality-tv-star-matt-wright-issued-arrest-warrant-after-fatal-chopper-crash-in-nt/ Reality TV star Matt Wright issues arrest warrant after fatal chopper crash in NT