Star Australian football player Dakota Baldwin-Wright tragically killed at age 25 in Christmas Eve train accident in Europe

 December 31, 2023

A rising Australian rules football star, 25-year-old Dakota Baldwin-Wright, tragically died on Christmas Eve while vacationing in Europe, according to Fox Sports.

Baldwin-Wright, who played for the Perth Football Club in the Western Australian Football League, was reportedly struck and killed by a train while visiting the city of Prague in the Czech Republic.

The Prague City Police said in a translated statement, "Despite the intensive braking of the train set, the train driver was unable to prevent a collision. According to criminologists, it was most likely an unfortunate accident."

Club mourns loss of beloved star player

The Perth Football Club said in a statement that the organization was "shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Dakota Baldwin-Wright. Dakota was involved in an accident whilst traveling overseas."

"He was an outstanding young man who was very much admired and will always be remembered for his contribution to the Club," the statement continued. "On behalf of everyone at the Club, we would like to send our thoughts to Dakota's family and friends at this difficult time."

"Our priority over the coming weeks will be to support his family, our players and the PFC community," the organization added. "We ask that the family's privacy be respected."

Fox Sports reported that PFC President Adrian Barich said separately of Baldwin-Wright, "This is a terrible tragedy for Dakota’s loved ones and our deepest sympathies go out to them," and added, "His passing has also rocked our playing group as he was a respected member of our senior team."

Australian government assisting the family in recovery of the body

Australia's 7News reported that Baldwin-Wright's untimely death in a train accident in the Czech Republic was further confirmed by the WAFL, with commission chair Wayne Martin announcing in a statement, "Our thoughts at the time are with Dakota’s family, friends and the Perth Football Club."

The outlet noted that Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is now aiding the deceased player's family in their efforts to go to Prague to retrieve their late son's body to bring home.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in Prague," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We send our condolences to his family during this difficult time. Owing to our privacy obligations we are unable to provide further comment."

Former teammates offer condolences

Baldwin-Wright reportedly made his debut with the Perth Demons in 2018 and had played in 44 games over six seasons with the team.

According to the Daily Mail, the player had recently decided to take a year off from the sport so that he could travel and see different parts of the world, which led to his being in Prague on Christmas Eve and ended with him being tragically struck and killed by a train while at a station around 6 am that morning.

The outlet noted that several of Baldwin-Wright's former coaches and teammates issued stunned responses to the news of his death, including Blake Johnson who heralded him as not just a great player on the field but also as "an even greater bloke off the field."

Former teammate Mat Bateman said of the late star, "A quality young man, extremely well respected, very coachable and a great teammate. Will never be forgotten."

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