Friends and family of a man who died in a car crash in Wellsford on Sunday are remembering him for his big heart and kind soul.

Shannon-Dean Ford, 39, died after he fled police following a failed breath test.

The crash happened shortly after 4pm on Whangaripo Valley Rd and involved one car.


Ford's mother, Sharon Ford, said her son was a "rough diamond" with a troubled past, but would be remembered "as the most loving person in the world with the biggest heart".

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"He grew up around gang members and had bad influences in his life, which means he's been a bit of a rough diamond," she said.

"He became a sad soul because of his life circumstances but how I'd like to remember him is with a happy, smiley face. He was a free spirit and so happy-go-lucky."

Ford grew up in West Auckland where he attended Kaurilands Primary School, Kelston Boys' High School and Henderson High School.

He and his brothers, Keenan and Jeremy, did everything together.

Keenan said his brother made a stupid decision but always had good morals about family and children.

"He didn't care much about himself but was always looking out for other people and would do anything for anyone he cared about."

In recent times, Ford worked part-time doing steel work and cared for his stepdaughter, Sapphire, for whom he is said to have "always been like a biological father".

Police, the fire service and Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter staff attend the fatal crash in Wellsford, Auckland, on August 6. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
Police, the fire service and Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter staff attend the fatal crash in Wellsford, Auckland, on August 6. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

Sharon Ford said her son was someone you could meet once and you'd never forget.

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"He was crazy, in a fiery way. He was fearless and just a bit of a clown.

"If you were a female, he always made sure you knew you were beautiful."

A passenger in the vehicle, was taken to hospital after the crash, having suffered a cut to his head and a sore shoulder.

Sharon Ford said he was now out of hospital.

"I spoke to him on the phone and my sons have been to visit him to make sure he's okay and to apologise for what has happened.

"I don't think he holds any animosity."

The Serious Crash Unit are continuing to investigate.