Queenstown's bar community is in mourning after one of its own died in an eerie car crash.

Popular barman Dean Dewhurst, 28, was killed in the early hours of Monday morning in Clitheroe, England, when his Volkswagen Golf collided with a truck.

His parents were killed in a crash less than a mile away 19 years ago - a crash Dewhurst survived.

Dewhurst, then eight, was in the backseat with his two younger brothers. It was the start of a family holiday.


The children all survived the crash and were raised by grandparents and other family.

Dewhurst spent about 18 months in the resort from 2013, working at The Find.

Friend and former boss Gary Livesey said the news was devastating.

"There'll be several hundred people in town who knew him really well because he was that much of a social legend of a dude.

"He was friends with everyone.

"It's horrible; so sad to know what he went through and then have it happen to him, heartbreaking."

Hundreds of people have paid tribute to Dewhurst online, including Queenstown's Vinyl Underground bar manager Matt Bennell and others from Queenstown.

Some of Dewhurst's friends were meeting last night for drinks.

The fun-loving football coach and player moved to Wellington in 2014 then back to the United Kingdom.

Livesey, in his online tribute, said Dewhurst was "one of the most positive, hilarious, big hearted humans" he's ever met.

The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.