A man who died in hospital nine days after being thrown from a ute in Raglan on Boxing Day has been named by police.
Ra Ngaru Smith, 18, from Raglan, was flung onto rocks from the back of a ute after it crashed down a bank on Wainui Rd.
He died in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit yesterday morning.
Releasing his name today, police said his death would serve as a reminder to people to only travel in vehicles with a proper restraint.
"Fatalities like this can be prevented if we ensure we only travel in vehicles where there are approved restraints available for all the vehicle's occupants," Waikato district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said.
"Other deaths can be avoided if we avoid fatigue, watch our speed, abstain from drinking and driving and avoid reckless or careless driving."
The crash was still being investigated, she said, but initial indications suggested the ute Mr Smith was riding in the back of failed to negotiate a bend in the road.
It crashed down a bank, throwing him from the vehicle onto rocks.
All four occupants of the ute were injured.
Mr Smith's death brought the number of fatal crashes on Waikato roads in 2014 to 35, with 36 deaths, Mrs Grace said.
"That's 36 families without a loved one to enjoy summer or celebrate Christmas with this year or for following years."
The official holiday road toll stood at 17 when it ended at 6am this morning, after an overnight crash killed a man whose vehicle smashed into a lamp post in Christchurch. The holiday road period ran from 4pm on Christmas Eve.
Last year, when the official holiday period was three days shorter than this year, there were seven road deaths.