Pair killed in fiery Dunedin crash named

Tributes are flowing on social media for a young man who was one of two killed in a Dunedin crash over the weekend.

Josiah Mani was killed when the car he was in caught fire after crashing with a truck on King Edward St in Kensington at 3.30am on Saturday.

Mother Esther Mani paid tribute to her son on social media and said "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."

It is understood he was a keen rugby player and a member of the Kia Toa Tigers rugby league club.

A post to Otago Rugby League's Facebook page paid tribute to Mr Mani and inviting guests to pay tribute to him at the Kensington yesterday.

"It is with great sadness that we let our members know that one of our Dunedin league whanau Josiah Mani has passed this weekend."

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

The Otago Daily Times was earlier told a truck driver used a portable extinguisher in an unsuccessful bid to put out the car fire after the crash.

Nearby resident Abbey Reid was woken by the crash between a late-model car and a rubbish truck close to a sharp bend in King Edward St, near the Kensington Hotel.

"We heard a big bang," Ms Reid said.

"It wasn’t a massive bang."

Ms Reid (21), an off-duty bakery manager, saw the truck driver unsuccessfully try to put out the fire shortly after what appeared to be a head-on crash between the south-bound car and the north-bound truck.

After the fire began, it quickly intensified, she said.

It is understood initial efforts to put the fire out had to be abandoned because of the size of the fire and the risk of explosion.

"The fire just got too big," she said.

"It was one of the most dramatic things I’ve ever seen," she said.

"I was so scared."

After hearing the crash she and her partner had got up to help, and she had immediately called emergency services.

A police spokeswoman said the car driver and another occupant of the car died at the scene.

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.

Ms Reid said when the injured passenger got out of the car he had "blood all over his face".

He had sought help and had been given a glass of water, she said.

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
The accident had happened very rapidly.

"It was all over very quickly," she said.

She had never experienced anything like the crash and had been unable to sleep afterwards.

The crash had later brought home to her the realities of the road toll, and had continued to affect her.

"It was a bit scary this morning," she said.

Police said they were continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

Because of the condition of the victims’ bodies, specialist staff were helping to identify them, the police spokeswoman said.

For that reason, formal identification of the victims could take some time, she said.

The police Serious Crash Unit was notified and the circumstances of the crash were being investigated, police said.

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