A driver has been charged in the death of a local Rugby League legend on Christmas Day, after allegedly plowing his car into the victim at his home.
Russell Klein, 55, was standing outside his home in Millmerran, in Queensland’s Toowoomba region, when he was allegedly struck by the driver, who then slammed into his property.
Paramedics were called and attempted to treat the critically injured Mr Klein, but he tragically died at the scene.
Queensland Police allege the 30-year-old driver ‘deliberately drove into’ Mr Klein, fled the scene on foot and was found at a nearby park shortly after and arrested.
‘He has been charged with one count each of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possess drug utensils, authority required to possess explosives and driving a motor vehicle without a driver licence,’ QLD police said.
‘He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear before Toowoomba Magistrates Court tomorrow (December 27).’
Neighbours told The Chronicle they heard a commotion between two people, a loud bang and a call for help as the incident unfolded.
‘I heard a lot of shouting and arguing and a car revving but I thought it was hoons, so I didn’t go out,’ neighbour Maureen Saunders said.
‘You don’t know what they could be armed with these days.
‘Then I heard a loud bang and someone crying out help me, help me.’
She ran over to Mr Klein’s home and found the father partially trapped under his house.
She tried to pull him out with the help of another local as a third resident called emergency services.
‘He was such a lovely person, he would do anything for you and give you the shirt off his back,’ Ms Saunders told the publication.
‘Every year for Christmas, I used to get him a Mitre 10 gift card to say thank you for doing my nature strip, but I didn’t get to give it to him this year.’
Mr Klein was well-known in the Toowoomba region for his involvement in local Rugby League.
During his league career, he played for the Pittsworth Danes, Millmerran Rams, and Inglewood Roosters.
He rejoined the Pittsworth Danes and played football alongside his sons in 2018.
‘How many blokes get the chance to play footy with their two sons? It’s the best thing you can do,’ he told Queensland Rugby League.
The investigation into Mr Klein’s death is ongoing.