11 Jul 2020

Thousands raised to return crash victim to PNG

2:36 pm on 11 July 2020

First published on Otago Daily Times

More than $12,000 has been raised to help return the body of a man killed in a Dunedin crash to his family.

Died in a car crash in Dunedin on 3/7/2020

Josiah Mani Photo: YouTube/Give-a-Little

Josiah Mani, 24, was one of two men killed when the car he was in collided with a truck and burst into flames on King Edward St, in South Dunedin, at 3.30am last Saturday.

The surviving occupant of the car sustained serious injuries, and the truck driver had moderate injuries.

A Givealittle page was set up by Mani's rugby league club, the Kia Toa Tigers Sports Club, to raise funds to return his body home to Papua New Guinea.

So far, more than $12,000 has been raised by donors.

The page description described Mani as a hard-working, much-loved man who always brought a smile to people's faces.

"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."

Police believed speed was a factor in the crash.

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

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

Mani is survived by his partner and friends in Dunedin, and his family in Papua New Guinea.

This story first appeared in the Otago Daily Times