Two bloodied and panicked teenagers stumbled from a car wreck moments after a crash killed their 14-year-old mate, pleading, "Please help, please help."
Ethan Corteze Scott was in the back seat of the stolen vehicle when the 16-year-old driver missed a right-hand bend in Taikata Rd on Auckland's Te Atatu Peninsula yesterday.
The vehicle's ignition barrel is said to have been ripped out. Police believe speed was a factor in the crash.
Residents described the sound of the car hitting the power pole about 6am as deafening. The crash cut power to more than 1400 households.
Ethan was pronounced dead before being removed from the car. A resident said he could tell the motionless boy "was gone".
A neighbour told the Herald: "I went out, and my partner went out. He saw two of the boys climbing out of the car. The two boys were just saying, 'Please help, please help'."
The car was wrecked and had ended up in the middle of the intersection, the mother of three said.
"You'd have to be going fast ... The car was really, really munted."
One of the boys in the front had a lot of blood on him after suffering a gash to his head.
A father of two, who helped the injured, said the boys seemed to be panicking. "All I heard was someone saying, 'Bro, you f***ed up, bro, you f***ed up'. I had a look [at Ethan] and he was gone. He was just motionless."
It took two men to prise open the door to get to the fatally injured boy.
It was not known last night what licence the teen driver was on or if anyone would face charges.
Motor vehicle accidents are the biggest killer of New Zealanders aged 15 to 24, with 40 such fatalities since January 1 this year.
In 2011, the minimum driving age was increased from 15 to 16 and a zero alcohol tolerance was introduced for drivers under 20.
Months later, tougher testing for obtaining a restricted level licence was also introduced. Sixteen-year-olds who pass a learner licence test can drive with the supervision of someone with a full licence.
Once drivers turn 16, and have held their learner licence for at least six months, they can sit a practical test for their restricted licence, allowing them to drive unsupervised between 5am and 10pm.
In Te Atatu yesterday, the woman whose partner heard the survivors pleading for help said Taikata Rd was "terrible" for speeding drivers.
"People hoon up and down it all the time."