The family of a 19-year-old Alexandra man killed in a car crash last week have been overwhelmed by public support in the wake of the tragedy.
Ravineel Avikash Sharma was the front-seat passenger in a Nissan car that crashed into a tree in Coates Rd, near Alexandra Airport, just before midnight last Thursday.
The 19-year-old driver, from Ranfurly, remains in a serious condition in the intensive care unit in Dunedin Hospital. The rear-seat passenger, another 19-year-old from Alexandra, received minor injuries and is recovering at home.
A service for Mr Sharma, a former Dunstan High School pupil, was held at the school on Sunday.
His family, who had moved to Alexandra from Fiji about 13 years ago, were planning on returning to Fiji today with Mr Sharma's body for another service and period of mourning, Kevin Krsinic, on behalf of the family, said.
Mr Krsinic said the family had been amazed and humbled by the support shown to them since the tragedy and were grateful to the community and emergency services. They were also humbled to learn a Givealittle page had been set up.
The Sharma family wanted to remind families to "travel safe" and look out for each other and their friends, Mr Krsinic said.
"They don't want to see another family go through what they are going through."
On the evening of the crash Mr Sharma had turned down an offer of a ride home with his father, saying he would be dropped back by friends, Mr Krsinic said.
Police said investigations into the crash were continuing but speed and alcohol were believed to be "significant factors".
Dunstan High School principal Reece Goldsmith said the school was continuing to support students and their families and a supervised drop-in support room had been set up for students, parents and caregivers.
"During the coming days, teachers will encourage students to use this support room if being in class becomes too difficult."
The driver of the car in the crash was also a former Dunstan pupil.
The Givealittle page set up to help the Sharma family with funeral and travel expenses has received $4567 in donations so far.