The family of a man killed in a crash on Boxing day is describing him as a vibrant, happy and much loved son.
Viliami Muru-Teutau, 22, was killed when a vehicle crashed into a bridge on Triangle Road in Henderson, west Auckland.
One other person was also killed and will be named at a later date.
In a statement from the family, they say they are devastated by the young father’s death, who was also a promising rugby player.
He represented New Zealand Māori under 18s and was playing for a New South Wales country team last year before returning home.
“We can’t believe he is gone. We are in a state of shock and our hearts are broken,” the family said.
“Vili was a young man who had everything to live for. He is the father of a one-year-old daughter, and as one of five children, Vili’s death has crushed his parents and family. There are no words to describe the pain and grief we are feeling.
“He was a naturally gifted sportsman who loved his rugby.
“Our world has been turned upside down and inside out. This is supposed to be a holiday season of festive happiness, and instead we are weeping and we are grieving.”
Vili is survived by his partner and daughter, his parents and brothers and sisters, and his wider whānau.
Inquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing.