A Gisborne teenager has died in Waikato Hospital after he was critically injured falling from the roof of a moving car.

The 19-year-old man suffered a head injury when he fell off the car in Collins St, Te Hapara, about 5pm last Sunday morning.

The police Serious Crash Unit is investigating and has been speaking to witnesses, including the driver.

The teenager was initially taken to Gisborne Hospital and was later transferred to Waikato Hospital. He died on Wednesday.

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"We strongly discourage anyone from being on the roof of a moving vehicle and putting themselves and others at risk," a police spokesman said.

Social media has been full of tributes to the teenager, who has been described as a "lovely young man", and hundreds of messages express condolences to his family and friends.

His name has not yet been officially released.

Police said the teenager's death is expected to be referred to the Coroner.

- Gisborne Herald