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Extensive search in Tidbinbilla locates body of 21-year-old motorcyclist

Updated 4:57pm 18/01/2021

ACT Policing officers today located the body of a 21-year-old motorcyclist Alex Coppinger, near Paddy’s River Road in Tidbinbilla, following an extensive overnight and early morning search of the area.

The fatality marks a tragic milestone, being the first death on ACT roads in 2021, and ACT Policing Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman said “one death is too many”.

The circumstances of the incident will be investigated by ACT Policing Major Collision and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

The news comes after ACT Policing put a call out for public assistance to locate Mr Coppinger this morning, Monday 18 January, after he was reported missing last night.

He was last seen leaving home to ride his motorbike on country roads west of Canberra. 

Police reported Mr Coppinger planned to ride along the Cotter Road from Duffy, to Uriarra Village then along Paddy’s River Road to Point Hut Road, before re-entering the south of Canberra on Jim Pike Avenue.

Mr Coppinger never returned from his ride through Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, prompting his family’s concern.

Detective Inspector Boorman said the circumstances of the “extremely tragic” crash were unclear and would be fully investigated.

The search and rescue mission continued throughout the night, aided by Toll helicopters, before it was called off at 4:30am Monday morning.

Police and SES continued the search at first light and the young man’s body was located around 9am.

“We were using a lot of vehicles, four wheel drive vehicles and lighting,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.

“The deceased’s family were out searching as well, which is totally understandable.

“We’re trying to determine exactly what happened.”

Detective Inspector Boorman said it was a good idea to ride motorcycles in pairs as a safety measure, and urged caution on country roads.

Mr Coppinger was riding a black Yamaha motorbike with a distinctive brown leather seat.

He wore a white full-face helmet with black motorbike leathers.

Anyone with dash-cam footage or information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Please quote reference 6716436. Information can be provided anonymously.

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