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Driver charged for crash that led to boxing coach’s death

Motorcyclist Brett McNaught, a boxing coach at the Matamata’s Walton Boxing Club, died after a collision with a car on Sunday April 24, 2022.

Man probably injured by gunshot Photo by Daniel Bockwoldt/picture alliance via Getty Images

The driver who is alleged to have caused the crash that killed a boxing coach has been charged by local law enforcement.

Motorcyclist Brett McNaught, a boxing coach at the Matamata’s Walton Boxing Club in New Zealand, died after a collision with a car on Sunday, April 24, 2022. The 50-year-old was treated by emergency services but died at the scene from his injuries.

McNaught had just participated at the New Zealand Boxing Championships in Whanganui and was helping prepare a local lightweight champion for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games which open on July 28.

“It was devastating,” Walton boxing coach Raymond Richards said. “He was a wonderful man, a tremendous asset to the club and devoted to the boxers.”

The Matamata’s Walton Boxing Club plans to establish the Brett McNaught Memorial Award for Sportsmanship to honour his memory.

“Our deepest and warmest condolences to Brett’s whānau, friends and the team at Waltons Boxing Club xo,” read one of the posts on the Facebook page celebrating McNaught’s life. “Our family is new to the club but Brett welcomed and encouraged my boy to be his best.”

As for the driver who allegedly caused the crash, the 60-year-old is expected to appear in the Ohakune District Court this week to face charges of careless driving causing death.

This is not the first time that a combat sports athlete or coach has been killed in a car crash. Former UFC fighter Ryan Jimmo was killed in a hit-and-run incident at the age of 34; Georgian heavyweight Guram Gugenishvili died from injuries suffered in a vehicle collision at age 28; former UFC fighter Rodrigo de Lima was hit by a car and killed in Brazil in 2019.