New Plymouth builder Seth Woolston has been named as the man killed in a suspected drag race gone wrong just outside Hawera on Friday night.
The 26-year-old died at the scene of the two car crash near the intersection of Fairfield and Beach Roads.
Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash and police are investigating the possibility that drag racing was involved Hawera Police Sergeant Lincoln McCrea said.
He said police were still seeking witnesses to the incident but skid marks and other evidence indicated the crash came about during a drag race.
''The cars were just a mess, the whole scene was just an absolute mess,'' Mr McCrea said.
''It's a pretty simple message. Don't drink and drive. It's bloody frustrating that it's being ignored and people are dying pointlessly.'
Woolston died at the scene and had to be cut from the wreck of his car while the driver of the other car removed himself from the car.
The drivers were the only occupants of the cars.
Mr McCrea said emergency services were at the scene for up to five hours and the Serious Crash Unit continued their investigations on Saturday.
It was not known whether the drivers were wearing seatbelts.
Woolston death brings Taranaki's 2012 road toll to 13. In 2011 nine people were killed in car crashes and in 2010 15 died on the region's roads.
Anyone with information regarding Friday night's crash can phone Hawera police on 06 2780260.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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