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Alleged hit and run in Mparntwe/Alice Springs could be death in custody

Dechlan Brennan -

The death of a 20-year-old man in Mparntwe/Alice Springs in an alleged hit-and-run in the early hours of Sunday morning is being treated as a possible death in custody. 

The body of a man was allegedly discovered at approximately 4:15am, at the intersection of Larapinta Drive and Aldridge Street, Araluen. He was taken to Mparntwe (Alice Springs) hospital and was pronounced dead on Sunday morning. 

The road was closed for much of Sunday as crash scene investigators examined the area. 

In a statement, NT police said they "believe the male was struck by a vehicle between 2:50am and 4:15am."

"The driver of the vehicle allegedly did not remain at the scene after the incident and did not inform emergency services."

On Sunday, the NT police took a 32-year-old man - who they believe was driving the vehicle involved in the incident - into custody, as well as seizing a Ford Ranger. 

"Just after 1:00pm, Northern Territory Police seized a black Ford Ranger and arrested a 32-year-old male in relation to the crash," a police statement said. 

"The male currently remains in police custody with the investigation into his involvement ongoing."

Assistant Commissioner Travis Wurst said the incident was being treated as a death in custody due to officers having interacted with the deceased on Saturday, during a separate incident in the Mparntwe CBD. 

"It was determined that that person and another were involved in a disturbance on Todd Street in Alice Springs earlier in the morning, just prior to three o'clock," he said, according to reports from the ABC. 

"Police did have some involvement and engagement with the deceased.

"That person was then later taken home and a number of hours later it's believed that he left his residence and was struck by this vehicle."

Assistant Commissioner Wurst said the investigation was in its preliminary stage and it was not known if the driver and deceased knew each other. He said the coroner would make an official determination at a later date to decide if the death constitutes an official death in custody. 

"Northern Territory Police are investigating this matter on behalf of the coroner and will continue to investigate the matter from the criminal side of the conduct of the driver," he said.

The Alice Springs Criminal Investigation Branch and the Major Crash Investigation Unit are investigating the crash and are urging anyone who witnessed the incident, particularly if you have dash-cam footage, to make contact on 131 444. Please quote reference number 2400029810.

You can also anonymously contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The article was amended to include a statement from NT police 


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