According to Assistant Commissioner Highlands Eastern End Division, Rigga Neggi, the officer was charged with one count of Dangerous Driving Causing Death under Section 328 of the Criminal Code Act, and one count of Dangerous Driving Causing Grievous Bodily Harm.
The officer is currently in police custody, awaiting his appearance before the Committal Court in the Mount Hagen District Court.
The charges stem from a traffic accident on January 9, 2023, along the Minj road, which involved two vehicles, a Toyota Land Cruiser 10-seater, and a Toyota Land Cruiser 4-door. The drivers of both vehicles were allegedly under the influence of alcohol and were traveling at high speed when they collided.
One of the female passengers, whose name was not disclosed, died due to injuries sustained in the accident. Other passengers in both vehicles were also seriously injured.
The other driver, believed to be a young engineer from Barola in the Eastern Highlands Province, was found dead at the Waghi Bridge, and his relatives alleged that the off-duty policeman was responsible for his death.
In response, the relatives set up roadblocks at the Barola Mountain, targeting people from Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces, and harassed other members of the public traveling on the highway.
ACP Neggi reported that an independent investigation team from the Western Highlands and Simbu provinces is investigating the death of the young engineer.
He is appealing to the deceased's relatives to allow the law to take its course and urging members of the public with any information to come forward and assist the police with their investigations.