Speed a factor in Dunedin double fatal - police

Speed appears to have been a factor in a crash that killed two men in Dunedin over the weekend, police say.

It comes as a close friend of a Dunedin man Josiah Mani (24) killed in a fiery crash at the weekend said it was like losing a son.

Firefighters assist at the scene of a double fatality crash between a car and a truck near a...
Firefighters assist at the scene of a double fatality crash between a car and a truck near a sharp bend in King Edward St, Dunedin, early on Saturday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Josiah Mani was "an amazing, humble person" who did not have much, but what he did have he gave to others, Dallas Wade said yesterday.

Mr Mani was one of two men killed when the car he was in caught fire after it and a truck collided on King Edward St, in South Dunedin, at 3.30am on Saturday.

The surviving occupant of the car had serious injuries, and the truck driver had moderate injuries. Both were taken to Dunedin Hospital by ambulance.

The driver was discharged from hospital later on Saturday.

Josiah Mani
Josiah Mani

Inspector Amelia Steel, of Dunedin, said the car involved in the crash was a Mazda, which appeared to have failed to negotiate the left hand curve and crossed the centre line.

"Speed appears to be a factor at this stage of the investigation."

Forensic, mechanical, police, fire and serious crash investigations were simultaneously taking place, and would take at least two months, she said.

"This is a tragedy that has had severe consequences for the families of the deceased.

"Police extend sympathy to these families." 

Mr Wade said he was struggling to comprehend the news his friend had died.

"I’m still in shock really.

"I was a bit of a dad to him. It’s very devastating."

Mr Mani left behind a partner and friends in Dunedin, and family back home in Papua New Guinea.

It is understood all three men in the car worked at Mainland Poultry in Waikouaiti, and one had their last day at the egg-production factory on Friday.

Mr Wade said he had been involved with setting up a Givealittle page mainly organised by Mr Mani’s rugby league club, the Kia Toa Tigers Sports Club, to raise funds to return his body home to Papua New Guinea.

"He worked hard to support his family here and at home in Papua New Guinea and now Josiah needs our help to return him home and for funeral costs," Mr Wade said.

More than $3000 had been given last night.

Mr Mani’s mother, Esther Mani, paid tribute to her son on social media, saying: "I think of you in every moment of my life."

"But sometimes I feel the pain becomes so heavy to control. Life without you seems meaningless. I miss you so much my son."

Many of Mr Mani’s "Tiger family", friends and other rugby league players paid tribute outside the Kensington Tavern, near the crash site, on Sunday.

Stuff have named the second person killed as William Quin, a Christchurch man studying marine biology at the University of Otago.

The university declined to comment yesterday.



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