23 Dec 2017

Police name taxi driver killed in central Auckland crash

7:33 pm on 23 December 2017

Police are supporting the family of a taxi driver who was killed in a crash in the early hours of this morning in central Auckland.

Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, 29, died at the scene on Symonds St, central Auckland, after the crash about 4.45am.

The scene of the crash on Symonds Street.

The scene of the crash on Symonds Street. Photo: www.snpa.co.nz

A 20-year-old man who was driving a black Mercedes has been charged with driving with excess breath alcohol causing injury, and failing to stop and ascertain injury.

Speaking outside Auckland central police station, Detective Inspector Scott Beard said it appeared the crash occurred after the Mercedes ran a red light, but police were reviewing CCTV footage to confirm that.

Members of the public alerted police who used the police Eagle helicopter to track down the driver and his passenger, who had fled the scene.

Mr Beard said they were on the street a few blocks away - the driver had minor injuries and the passenger was taken to hospital.

He said the crash was especially upsetting in the lead up to Christmas.

"This morning's tragedy is very difficult for the family, it's difficult fo the members of the public who were in the vicinity and it's difficult for the police staff who have to deal with it."

He said there was no indication the vehicle was stolen and the crash was avoidable.

"They shouldn't be drinking and driving, they shouldn't be speeding and if they're involved in a crash they need to remain there and they need to check to see whether the other party is injured or needs medical treatment."

Police are supporting Mr Syed's family, who live in Avondale.

The accused is in custody and will most likely spend Christmas in the cells.

He will appear in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday.