24 Dec 2017

'Don't drink and drive, you can kill a father ... a son'

7:55 am on 24 December 2017

The family of the taxi driver killed by a driver allegedly under the influence in Central Auckland is now trying to get his body back to India to say their final goodbye.

Auckland taxi driver Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, who leaves behind a wife and baby.

Auckland taxi driver Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, who leaves behind a wife and baby. Photo: Supplied

Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed of Avondale, 29, died at the scene of a crash on Symonds Street about 4.45am yesterday.

His parents' only son, he leaves behind a wife and a four-month-old baby boy.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said yesterday it appeared the crash occurred after a Mercedes ran a red light, but police were reviewing CCTV footage.

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

Mr Seyed's cousin Syed Jaffar Mehmodi described Abdul as a soft-hearted man, who worked hard and had moved to New Zealand with his wife two years ago, for a better life.

Mr Mehmodi said his cousin did not deserve to die on the street, from the fault of someone else.

"This is a lesson for other people. Please, don't drink and drive: you can kill a father, you can kill a son, you can kill the world.

"To his father and his mother, he was the world, they lost the world and they say they don't want to live now without him," he said.

The scene of the crash on Symonds Street.

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

He said Mr Syed was due to visit his family in India for the first time since moving to New Zealand, in March.

Mr Mehmodi, who lives in Australia, spoke to his cousin every other day.

"He tried calling me two times yesterday and I did not speak to him, because we had an argument two days ago and I was totally upset with him. I feel guilty, why didn't I speak to him?"

He said his family were waiting for the post-mortem to take place today and are now looking to fund the return of his body to Hyderabad, South India.

Mr Mehmodi said the family had not thought too much about plans, as they were still in shock and the father could not believe he had lost his only son.

He added Mr Syed's parents wanted to come to New Zealand, but were too elderly and his father was not in good health.

The man accused of causing the crash is in custody and will most likely spend Christmas in a cell.

He will appear in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday.

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