A motorcycle involved in a fatal crash in Hamilton was seen speeding seconds before it and a car collided in Hamilton.
Police have confirmed a person died following the crash on Greenwood St outside Pita Pit about 1pm today.
Witnesses and nearby business owners say they saw a motorcycle speeding north up Greenwood St and appeared to be doing a "manoeuvre" when it crashed into the side of a Mazda Demio which had pulled out of a driveway.
The driver of the motorcycle died at the scene. The driver of the Mazda, a young man, was seen being spoken to by police.
However, Chris Seeley, owner of World of Tyres on Greenwood St, knew the victim and said he was a talented engineer who also had a love of cars.
He admitted the victim was "probably going a bit faster than he should have been" before crashing into a car which appeared to have pulled out of a driveway.
However, Seeley said the man's bike - a 1000cc Yamaha R1 - was pretty powerful and wouldn't have taken much to get up a bit of speed.
Seeley said he picked up the victim's distraught partner and brought her down to the crash site.
The victim was working part-time as an engineer but had also been helping him out in his tyre business as he had a love of cars and motorbikes.
"He was the sort of guy that could put his hand to anything, he was a real switched on guy ... he was on ACC because he had a back injury so he was just coming spending time learning a bit about the business in the hope that he would start his own business in a similar [car] industry one day."
Seeley said the victim appeared like a hard guy, but deep down he was "a real softy".
"He was always good for a laugh. He was one of those guys who, on the outside, if you didn't now him you would take him as a bit of a roughneck but he was a real softy once you got to know him. Just a real nice guy, he wouldn't hurt anybody."
One business owner had surveyed his CCTV camera footage and spied the motorcycle travelling at speed up the road. Another worker said a customer had seen the bike speeding and appeared to be travelling on just its back wheel in the seconds prior to the crash.
Greenwood St is a busy thoroughfare in the city and home to all the major takeaway outlets, including McDonald's, KFC and Burger King. The accident happened out the front of Pita Pit, next to KFC, where diners were sitting outside enjoying their lunch.
The police serious crash unit is still investigating and Greenwood St remains closed.
Police are yet to comment on factors involved in the crash.