Suspect likely to have known hit-and-run victim
POLICE are alleging it is likely that the Rocky Point man who was allegedly the driver of a vehicle that fatally hit Michael Bowden in Weipa would have known him.
Police are also alleging that not only was the 25-year-old Rocky Point man under the influence of drugs at the time he fatally struck the 20-year-old on Northern Avenue on June 9, but he was in breach of conditions on his licence and shouldn't have been behind the wheel.
The man has been given a Notice to Appear one count each of driving without due care, fail to remain at an incident, driving a motor vehicle between 11pm and 5am without certificate of exemption and driving a vehicle while under the influence of liquor or a drug.
"We're not alleging there is any connection between them, however Weipa is a small township and it is highly likely that they had crossed paths at some stage," Detective Acting Inspector Rob Campbell said.
"The investigation hasn't finalised because we've laid a notice to appear on someone.
"We'll continue to investigate and look at all of the aspects for a prosecution."
The charges come one week after Michael, a third year apprentice fitter and turner in Weipa, was killed when walking home from a party.
Det A/Insp Campbell revealed that there we also one passenger in the vehicle at the time of the incident, who has been co-operative with police.
But despite the recent breakthrough in the case, "it's still mixed emotions" for Michael's family.
"I suppose you could say relief (that police have laid charges) but the charges seem kind of light compared to the actual outcome," family member Denica Russ said.
"But we are grateful for all the work the police have done and we know that they are working on covering all avenues."
Ms Russ said thanked the Weipa and Ravenshoe community's for their love and support over the past week.
"We've had so much food and flowers from everywhere coming in," she said.
"We've had such positive responses from both Weipa and Ravenshoe, they've organised fundraisers and everyone has just been so brilliant.
"It's a shame it's this kind of stuff that brings it out."
The Rocky Point man is expected to appear in the Weipa Magistrates Court on July 17.