Teen on highway killed by car
Before the official holiday road toll period began, a teenager had already died on a Palmerston North road.
Sonny Hone Waihi, 18, of Rangiotu, was hit by a car about 11.30pm on Sunday while walking on State Highway 56 between Palmerston North and Levin, near the old Rangiotu School.
He died at the scene despite attempts to revive him.
A friend, Brent Henderson, 17, said his mate's death seemed unbelievable.
"I just didn't think it would happen. It seems pretty far-fetched that it happened."
He heard about the accident the morning after from his girlfriend, who had been close to Sonny and considered him "like a brother".
She was distraught, he said.
Sonny had a lot of friends and "anyone he liked was his brother", Brent said.
He had not talked to the family, but imagined they would be pretty shocked.
"He was a pretty cool guy, he was really thoughtful of other people, like if he was eating a pie, and someone else didn't have one, he'd be like ‘You haven't got a pie, do you want mine?' "
Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin said police believed Sonny had been drinking before the incident.
Police had spoken to family members and witnesses and were not seeking anyone else in relation to the crash.
No charges had been laid, if any, as yet.
The official holiday road toll period began at 4pm on Christmas Eve and ends on January 3.