Two men charged with murder following tragic death of NRL star’s brother

UPDATE @ July 5 by Monique StClair | A second man has been charged following the death of an NRL star’s brother in the Gold Coast Hinterland last week.

Jake Opacic, the brother of NRL star Tom Opacic, died after his motorbike crashed along Nerang Murwillumbah Road in Numinbah Valley around 10.15 am on Friday.

Following extensive investigations over the weekend, police have now charged two men in relation to the incident.


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They allege the pair were in a vehicle when the 28-year-old crashed his bike, suspecting the fatality was a road rage incident.

However, the exact circumstances of the crash are still being investigated.

A 28-year-old Michelton man and a 29-year-old Narangba man have now been charged with murder and are due to front court today.

The Narangabar man handed himself into Laidley police station just after 2.00 am on Saturday morning. Police initially reported that he was from Benowa on the Gold Coast.

The Mitchelton man was arrested late Saturday afternoon on the Sunshine Coast.

Both were refused bail. Investigations are continuing.

EARLIER @ July 4, 5.30 AM by Shanee Dobeson | A Gold Coast man has been charged following the death of a motorcyclist, who was killed in a suspicious crash in the hinterland on Friday.

Jake Opacic, who has been identified as the brother of NRL star Tom Opacic, died after crashing his bike along Nerang-Murwillumbah Road in Numinbah Valley around 10.15am on Friday.

It’s understood he had been involved in a verbal altercation with two men outside Numinbah Correctional Centre just minutes earlier.

He suffered critical injuries in the crash and died at the scene.

A Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed to myGC that a 29-year-old man from Benowa handed himself into Laidley police station shortly after 2.00am on Saturday.

He has been charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and driving while disqualified.

The man was refused bail to appear in Southport Court tomorrow.

The spokesperson confirmed police investigations into the incident are ongoing.

EARLIER @ July 3, 10.00 AM | A MAN has been taken into custody in relation to the death of Jake Opacic, who was killed in a suspicious motorbike crash in the Gold Coast hinterland yesterday.

Queensland Police confirmed the man surrendered to officers at Laidley police station shortly after 2am this morning.

He is currently assisting detectives with investigations.

The 28-year-old victim, who has been identified as the brother of NRL star Tom Opacic, died after crashing his bike along Nerang-Murwillumbah Road in Numinbah Valley around 10.15am on Friday.

Jake Opacic | PHOTO: Facebook

It’s understood he had been involved in a verbal altercation with two men outside Numinbah Correctional Centre just minutes earlier, with police probing whether he may have been deliberately run off the road.

He suffered critical injuries in the crash and died at the scene.

Investigations are ongoing.

EARLIER @ 5.00 AM | The man killed in a “suspicious” motorbike crash, potentially linked to a love triangle at a nearby Gold Coast hinterland jail, has been identified as Jake Opacic – the brother of NRL star Tom Opacic.

The 28-year-old died after crashing his bike along Nerang-Murwillumbah Road in Numinbah Valley around 10.15am on Friday.

It’s understood he had been involved in a verbal altercation with two men outside Numinbah Correctional Centre just minutes earlier.

According to reports, Opacic is believed to have visited the prison for the release of his ex-girlfriend, where he was then allegedly met by her current boyfriend.

He suffered critical injuries in the crash and could not be saved, with police now probing whether or not he may have been deliberately run off the road.

Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said the argument at the nearby prison may hold the key to working out exactly what occurred.

“We’re currently investigating the circumstances surrounding potentially this rider being involved in an argument with some other people further up the road here shortly before the accident occurred,” Detective Insp Ahearn said.

“We don’t know if he has had contact with another car or what the circumstances were in ending with him coming off his bike.”

Despite the tragic loss of his brother, Tom Opacic put on a brave face and took to the field for the Parramatta Eels in Friday night’s clash with the Panthers.

The Eels released a statement late last night paying tribute.

“We are sad to learn of the sudden passing of Jake Opacic today, brother of Tom Opacic,” the club said.

“The Parramatta Eels extend their thoughts and deepest sympathies to the Opacic family.

“Tom was brave to play in tonight’s game under painful circumstances, and we will support him during this difficult time.”

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious, or anyone with dash cam vision along Nerang Murwillumbah Road between 9.30am and 10.30am on Friday to come forward.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.