The teenage passenger killed in a car crash in rural Central Hawke's Bay last night was Matthew Drummond.

The car in which the local and three friends were riding crashed on Charlotte St in Takapau about 7pm.

Matthew, who owned the car, was thrown from the front seat car as it rolled "about four times'' and died at the scene, said Sergeant Denis Tatere.

The 14-year-old male driver was flown to Hawke's Bay Hospital in the Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter with moderate injuries and later discharged.

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A boy and girl in the backseat were "shaken up'' and suffered minor injuries, said Sergeant Tatere.

The three boys are from the area and the girl was visiting.

One of the first to the scene was a volunteer fireman who arrived to find the victim was his teenage nephew.

"It's the sort of thing you dread. You go to quite a few accidents and it's normally someone you don't know - but this was a bit close to home,'' he said.

The boy who died was the son and grandson of two other firemen at the Takapau Volunteer Fire Brigade station.

Fortunately, the boy's father and grandfather were working and unavailable to be called out to the crash, said the firefighter.

"That was a real blessing.''

Police are investigating the crash and were last night talking to the survivors and witnesses.

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The firefighter hoped his nephew's death would be a wake-up call for young people in the community to stop messing around in cars.

"It's young people having a bit of fun on the road and it's all gone wrong.

"As with every small town in New Zealand, young teenagers who think they're bullet-proof take out cars to have fun.''

The described his nephew was a "lovely boy'' who was really into motors and cars.