A family member of a man who died in a crash shortly after a police pursuit in Newcastle last week has appealed to the community to be mindful before making hurtful comments on social media.
Ben Collier, 35, died about 3am last Wednesday after the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a pole on Scott Street, in the city's east end.
In a statement to the Newcastle Herald, Mr Collier's cousin Sarah Deer told of the impact that comments critical of the 35-year-old on social media had placed on his loved ones.
Ms Deer said she, Mr Collier and another cousin had grown up together.
"The family request that their privacy be respected during this heartbreaking time," she said.
"I request that people take a moment to reflect and be mindful before making judgement and hurtful comments.
"Whilst for most there is no emotional or personal connection to the loss and events that unfolded, to them this will merely be old news tomorrow.
"But for many more this is reality, a nightmare they cannot wake up from, not a page they can just turn or a post they can scroll past but an immense pain in their hearts, a loss that will alter their lives forever.
"Until we meet again buddy. We love you."
Police said officers had engaged in a pursuit, but abandoned the chase before the crash occurred.
A team from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District will conduct a critical incident investigation.
NSW Police said in a statement last week the results of the critical incident investigation would be subject to an independent review.
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